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Posts Tagged ‘Kenneth R. Bazinet’

This Week In Pool Reports

Want to know how to taunt the pool? We hear the smell of lump crab works well.

  • “As you’ve no doubt heard by now, the VP made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan. We gathered at about 6:30 a.m. for the sweep, then flew the three hours from Muscat to Kabul via the same C-17 military transport plane — the one with the shiny travel trailer in the middle. On arrival at the airport, we took CH-47 Chinook choppers for the short hop to the presidential palace in Kabul, reportedly because the highway is regarded as risky. Afghan security lived up to their reputation for being strict. They swept our gear for so long that we basically missed the VP’s actual arrival at the palace, and at first refused to allow reporters and camera people anywhere near the ceremony, finally relenting after much complaining from the American side. VP and Karzai spent about an hour together in a one-on-one following a full delegation meeting.” — John D. McKinnon, The Wall Street Journal

  • “The VP is currently participating in a reenlistment ceremony and will behanding out some medals, and will have dinner with the troops (prime rib, supposedly nothing special for this base, where steak and lobster also havebeen on the menu recently).” — McKinnon

  • “Wednesday was a pretty slow day after the Iraq leg. VP had the interview with Martha Raddatz that you’ve seen. The setting, we’re told, was a piano lounge in the Shangri La resort hotel where he’s staying. (We’re next door in a slightly less fancy place.) In the afternoon he went fishing on a royal yacht, the Kingfish I.” — McKinnon

  • “March Madness comes to the White House! The President of Georgia is here to celebrate the Bulldogs’ historic run through the SEC Tournament over the weekend, including two games and two wins on the same day in tornado-ravaged Atlanta. The Bulldogs’ tipoff in the Big Dance against Xavier is tomorrow at 12:20 p.m. right here in D.C. at the Verizon Center. Oh wait, I have the wrong Georgia on my mind (but that is probably due to the fact that there was absolutely no news in the photo-op).” — Kenneth R. Bazinet, Daily News

  • “Pool can now say that we overnighted at Balad Air Base about 40 miles north of Baghdad, in the southeastern corner of what’s known as the Sunni Triangle. After the press conference and a short filing period at the U.S. embassy on Monday evening, we choppered about 25 minutes to the base, which combines extensive air operations and Army supply operations. Press stayed in tents on the base. There was mortar firing at one point during the night. But soldiers stuck their heads in to let us know that there was no danger (to us anyway, presumably). The next morning, VP staff reported the firing
    was from the base, as part of a periodic effort to clear out ‘bad guys’ from a couple of areas nearby.” — McKinnon

  • “At the first event on Tuesday, a breakfast with troops, VP was asked as he went through the food line whether he’d heard the firing. He said he had. He wasn’t awakened by it, though, because he was already up. ‘Nobody came running in to wake me up,’ he said.” — McKinnon

  • “In the shortest pool spray since at least the Garfield administration, the pool was ushered into the Roosevelt Room at the conclusion of the meeting between the president and the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. Within seconds — like, the number you can count on one hand — the pool was ‘thanked’ and ushered right out, much to the amusement of POTUS. No statements. No questions.” — Keith Koffler, CongressDaily

  • “Pool was ushered into Capitol’s Rayburn Room to witness the final moments of lunch, after speeches had already been made. As we entered, Speaker Pelosi, dressed in a hospital green pantsuit for St. Patrick’s Day, introduced an Irish-American band that she said would offer up ‘Celtic’ music, pronounced by her as in ‘Boston Celtics.’” — Koffler

  • “Pool has the great misfortue of being marooned in Statuary Hall where it can smell lunch being prepared for consumption by dignitaries in the Rayburn Room. The sweet odor consists of: jumbo crab and presrved lemon salad with ‘baby lettuces’ and a gelee of preserved lemon; roasted lamb chops with carmelized endive in a port wine reduction.; potato croquttes; fondue of vegetables; chocolate mousse; coffee and tea; and ‘fancy’ cookies. In an act of sheer brutality, plates were carried in front of the pool on their way in.” — Koffler

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    This Week In Pool Reports

    This week, the motorcade has some technical issues, POTUS is victim to an unfortunate seating arrangement and Politico makes a rare pool appearance.

  • “The White House Scottish terriers Barney and Miss Beazley were sitting on a sunny South Lawn chewing on something when the pool was led into the Rose Garden access corridor to the Oval Office.” — Bartholomew Sullivan, Scripps Howard News Service

  • “After his remarks, POTUS did not take questions. However, when asked if he was any closer to finishing the stimulus package, POTUS offered a wink in the direction of the questioner and slight smile.” — Daniel W. Reilly, Politico

  • “Not much to add to the president’s brief statement at the top of his meeting with Congressional leaders. He took no questions and replied rather firmly, ‘Thank you all’ when one was shouted about how quickly an agreement needed to be done to be effective. He sat between Pelosi and Reid. When the president spoke of the legislative body not being the most orderly, Pelosi raised her eyebrows in mock surprise, and said something to Boehner at her side that was inaudible. The president went on to say that the leaders were committed to getting an agreement and would do so quickly.” — Steven Lee Myers, New York Times

  • “They walked over to a group of elementary school-aged kids during story time. Wrapping up, the reader asked the kids how they could make the world a better place. With the throng of us gathered around, the kids remained silent. ‘Love your neighbor,’ President Bush volunteered eagerly. The reader nodded approvingly.” — Charles Hurt, New York Post

  • “The motorcade left the White House grounds at about 8 am. and the ride was uneventful for the President. POTUS arrived at Fort Belvoir at about 8:20 am. (The package was without Press One for most of the ride out. The van pulled over on 14th St. between the mall and the bridge. Passengers said they felt a thumping and it turns out there was ‘a hunk of metal’ in the right rear tire, as one photographer explained. The motor pool dispatched a replacement van, and Press One rejoined Press Two at 8:42 am. at Fort Belvoir, in time for coffee). Per usual, your pool did not see POTUS or the peloton on the course. They rode for about 1 hour, 45 minutes while pool held at a coffee shop.” — Kenneth R. Bazinet, Daily News

  • “Bush greeted, shook hands and posed for pictures with workers throughout the facility, and used ‘hola’ to greet the numerous Hispanic workers. At the conclusion of the tour, Bush delivered his remarks on the need for an economic stimulus package, and admiring the ‘Stander,’ asked Wright to ‘crank this sucker up.’ After receiving a demonstration from Wright, Bush took the reigns, going forwards and backwards on the ‘Stander’ while waving to the press corps. Bush called it a ‘fine looking machine.’ The motorcade departed the factory at 2:13 p.m., driving through Frederick (past a woman with a life-size cutout of Bush), and departed for Washington at 2:29 p.m., arriving at the White House at 2:51.” — Andy Leonatti, CongressDaily

  • This Week In Pool Reports

    Mixed emotions this week in the pool between the news of Tony Snow and Wednesday night’s festivities. FLOTUS makes a fashion faux pas and John Boehner has a little trouble with the letter “G”.

  • “FLOTUS wore a shimmering purple/green dress — which the pool will bet dollars-to-doughnuts is the same dress she wore to last year’s Library of Congress National Book Festival gala (which just so happens to be the last time this pooler was pool for a black tie event.) Thankfully, no other attendees were also wearing it.” — Ian Bishop, New York Post

  • “As the First Couple waited off stage during the pre-dinner mingling period, DNC chief Howard Dean chatted away with folks. GOP co-boss Mel Martinez, less than 20 feet away, stood alone behind his chair at table #95, nursing a glass of red wine. ‘It’s been a long day,’ Martinez quipped. Ten minutes later they were sitting together at the same table, separated by Tim Russert.” — Bishop

  • “President Bush said he got a call from Tony Snow, 51, who was resting at the hospital. POTUS was informed that Snow’s cancer had returned. ‘He told me that when they went in and operated on him they found cancer. It’s a recurrence of the cancer that he thought that he had successfully dealt with in the past. His attitude is, one, that he is not going to let this whip him, and he’s upbeat. My attitude is, is what we need to pray for him, and for his family,’ Bush said, adding that he’s looking forward to his spokesman returning to the White House after he rebounds.” — Kenneth R. Bazinet, Daily News

  • “Mystery of the day: What WERE they talking about?? Bush and House speaker Nancy Pelosi engaged in a lengthy — about 15 minutes — and animated conversation at the outset of the ceremony, before the speechifying had begun, as the airmen filed into the Rotunda. He arched his eyebrows at times; she gesticulated. They leaned toward one another, then back, laughing at times, appearing serious at others. Much comment in the press corps about whether they were cutting a deal, or arguing over, the Iraq supplemental.” — Sheryl Stolberg, New York Times

  • John Boehner, the House Republican leader, mispronounced Tuskegee throughout his speech, creating some awkward tension in the audience. He said Tuskee-gee, with a soft G, as in gee whiz. People tittered, but the full extent of the embarrassment did not become clear until Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, rose to follow him. McConnell stood up and quickly pronounced Tuskegee correctly, and with great emphasis, drawing a huge cheer from the crowd.” — Stolberg