The magic fingers of George W. Bush

Our brave leader eases Angela Merkel's stress, one inappropriate gesture at a time.

Published July 18, 2006 4:10PM (EDT)

Just a quick review:

The president of the United States is a man, George W. Bush. The chancellor of Germany is a woman, Angela Merkel.

So what happened when the two attended the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, this week while Israel and Lebanon exploded in violence and North Korea refused to abandon its nuclear weapons program?

Well, while Merkel was talking with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, Bush snuck up behind her and gave her a little back massage.

Seriously. You can watch the video and, perhaps even more horrible, a slow-motion slide show of the event here. And hey, who knows -- maybe what we don't see is Bush pinching Tony Blair's tush and offering to scratch Vladimir Putin's scalp.

You know, some days during this administration, it's almost too embarrassing to get out of bed in the morning.

By Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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