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Bush Booed During Mandela Memorial

A sterling example of the maxim, no good deed goes unpunished.

Former President George W. Bush was booed when he appeared on the video monitor at today’s memorial for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa, according to the White House pool report, which cited local press outlets.

Meanwhile, when the images President Obama and Michelle popped up, there was a 30-second “deafening roar,” the pooler wrote.

How sad. Bush has done a far greater amount for South Africa than Obama. But Obama is much better at crafting his public image and saying the right things.

Bush personally saved the lives of millions of South Africans with his President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, ensuring AIDS drugs are available to South Africa’s impoverished masses.

From a Washington Post piece describing how Bush’s achievements were haunting Obama’s June trip to South Africa:

In South Africa, the success ( of PEPFAR) was extraordinary. AIDS killed roughly 2.3 million in South Africa — once one of the worst-affected countries in the world — and orphaned about a million children there, according to the United Nations. Today, rates of infection have fallen to 30 percent, and nearly 2 million people are on antiretroviral drugs.

Meanwhile, Obama has cut PEPFAR funding and generally been his customary inattentive self. From the same Post piece:

AIDS advocates on Sunday said that Obama administration budget cuts that have slashed hundreds of millions of dollars from PEPFAR threaten to turn back years of progress in the fight against the AIDS epidemic. Last year, the administration unveiled a budget that reduces AIDS funding globally by roughly $214 million, the first time an American president has reduced the U.S. commitment to fighting the epidemic since it broke out in the 1980s during the Reagan administration.

“Knowing that Africa has many challenges, with fighting AIDS being one of the biggest challenges, we were really expecting President Obama to continue where President Bush had left off,” said Hilary Thulare, country director of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit group that works in 26 countries providing medical care to people with AIDS. “But it’s been a disappointment. Obama is retreating on AIDS and, by this, retreating on Africa.”

Thulare said she wished Obama was as inspired by Mandela when it came to fighting AIDS.

I’m sure those desperately in need of AIDS drugs in South Africa would be happy to hear that Mandela’s saga “woke me up to my responsibilities to others and to myself,” as Obama said today.

Meanwhile, Obama today delivered his speech, shared some stirring words, accepted his applause, and went home. I imagine most of those awestruck by Obama and contemptuous of his predecessor are HIV-negative.

Bush is still heavily involved in Africa, turning his focus last year to cervical and breast cancer and traveling repeatedly to the continent.

I assume he knows that even as he was booed in Johannesburg, God was cheering, and millions of South Africans who would be dead are going about their lives.

107 Responses to Bush Booed During Mandela Memorial

    • A little perspective…comment from Twitchy

      This funeral was attended by numerous Communist, Socialist and Theocratic world leaders along with many terrorist leaders and those linked to terrorism. When these types of people boo you, it’s a good thing, it’s when they cheer you that you know you’re on the wrong side of History.

      Bush on his feet to applaud Obama. Bush win!
      Obama shakes hands with Castro and Mugabe (Susan Rice’s favorite dictator). Bad mouths Republicans (read Americans) while abroad. Obama makes it all about Him.

      SA audience boos Bush but applauds Abbas of Palestine and Obama. The communists and dictators know one of their own in their applause for Obama.

      And like all takers, ignore the good that Bush has done for the continent and especially for those with aids.

      So much for perspective. FU SA..

      • Spot on, gracepmc. George Bush should wear the boos of the third-world dictators like a badge of courage. George Bush is a better man than every last one of them rolled together.

      • Thanks grace, those people were very rude indeed, but not as rude as Obama goofing on that blonde lady during such a somber occasion.

        Also, Obama brings his own cheerleaders to these things, mostly to start the applauses after every sentence (so it seems). Wouldn’t put it past them if they started the boos.

      • Nothing you wouldn’t expect and I still wonder why Obama extended the invite to the Bush’s so quickly and publicly. You
        know he’s been blaming/bashing Bush since before he took over
        I won’t say office it’s vacant. Where I conspiracist I think he knew
        that would happen. You have to believe in a God and Karma but
        know this the Bush family will continue to help they don’t do it for
        fame and glory. God bless the Bush family grace, class and
        humility. The Obama’s are devoid of any of these qualities.

      • I must respectfully disagree. The crowd was made up, chiefly, of citizens of South Africa – not of foreign heads of state. The reason the communists, dictators, terrorists, etc. were there was because they knew they would be welcome, exalted, cheered by the majority in South Africa. So, the overwhelming cheers and the boos represent the true feelings of the majority in South Africa. Part of the reason that they do not appreciate the AIDS help is that they have a much different perspective on the disease.. Dr Tshabalala-Msimang, for instance, who was health minister believed that AIDS should be treated nutritionally, and that beet root was sovereign against its ravages. Others have denied it is caused by the HIV virus. Dr Nkosazana Zuma was in favor of another home-developed quack remedy. President Thabo Mbeki did not believe that HIV and AIDS had any connection. This is a place with much different perspectives than the U.S. and Western Europe.

  1. Coming from someone in the WH pool makes me take this with a grain of salt. In the same vein, the NYT has a headline about the great and humble honoring Mandela over a picture of Obama the Great. (sarc off)

  2. I have always thought that Americans are decent & brainy, but some of the comments here have surely changed my opinion. Often each person in a country has a different set of expectation to those who lead – Both Bush & our President Zuma were booed, both by certain pockets of the attendees. Does that warrants “blacks in SA to FO?” Is AIDS the only challenge facing SA & the world – Do you think we are impressed by handouts? Your views are rather primitive & shallow – no wonder US is in so much mess.

    • If you see the work that George and Laura Bush have done in Africa is a “handout” by them then I would submit that your view is rather “primitive” and “shallow”. You clearly have no measure of the man.

    • We are AMERICAN CITIZENS. Read our Constitution and you may see why we are making our comments. Which here in
      AMERICA we can do.
      It is unfortunate President Zuma was booed as well. I do not know much about him to question the booing. However they should have kept their booing to themself when President Bush took the time with his wife to pay tribute. While your at the computer why don’t you make the point that I did, that Mr. O. should have shook his head NO! when the booing started.

    • Handouts? Primitive and shallow?

      Do you have any idea how many people in this nation protested, marched and otherwise demanded that various institutions withdraw their investments in the Apartheid regime? I can’t speak for anyone else at WHD, but I did. I was a Commie back then, but I certainly would do it again when I’m now a member of the GOP.

  3. Bush was probably the classiest man there.
    all the work and money he threw at the AIDS victims in Africa meant nothing to those who booed and showed just how small they were and how large Bush is.

  4. OT snark. The Five highlighted the blond from Denmark taking the selfie with Barack. Michelle off to the side snarling. Hilarity ensued.

    I mention this because Mooch will not be happy. Which makes me happy. I am small and petty on this. She doesn’t like this country and I don’t like her for that.

  5. I’m really surprised to hear this. even the NYT has openly admitted that Bush did some great work for AIDS cure/prevention in Africa. I can’t imagine who doesn’t know this…

    but as I write that, I realize that that was 7-8 years ago, and that people are, well, sorta stupid. who was in the audience?

  6. How do I unsubscribe from this site…sick of the right wing dipsticks on here and the Bushbot apologists!!!! Nothing like supporting a liar and a murderer like Bush..what a site!

  7. To the commenters below, of course its a racial thing. Its south africa dummies. the percentage of whites remaining in SA is miniscule.

    as to Bush, I seem to recall him having spent more American tax dollars in africa in general than anyone before him.

    and they boo him. they are IDIOTS. let em take care of themselves, that will work out well. they lived on the richest deposits of diamonds and gold on the entire planet. with nary a clue.

    no written language. no mathematics. no wheel. they’d still be in huts if it werent for the Boers.

  8. Obama showed real class and Presidential demeanor by taking pictures of himself skinn’ and grinning’ with PM Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark.
    Why did she go along with it? I mean its a memorial service, save it for later. And Michelle DOES not look happy.

  9. I am reminded I told you I would withhold judgment on whether he would represent this country with class at this international event. After his speech ripping Republicans, his selfie with the buddies, and his incredibly two-faced eulogy today, I vote “No Class.”

  10. I’m sorry, but both my husband & I live here in South Africa & watched the live feed of the memorial service at the FNB Stadium & George Bush was not booed at all. the SA President Jacob Zuma was indeed booed roundly but not Bush. Sorry to throw cold reality on you. :)

  11. thats just how much damage his idiot son did to the Bush name. the father was a genius, the son an moron. Its painfully clear that cheney, a vice president, which is probably the lowest impact, non player, in the hierarchy of american politics, ran his entire presidency. thats shameful, but someone had to do it, considering he spent more time at his ranch that in the oval office.

  12. Do we know for a fact he was booed? All I see is Conservative sites saying he did. If its true its pretty shameful considering the impact his aid had on that country

  13. Doesn’t that just reflect the ignorance of truth and reality of this age that we live in… As the writer above said God knows the truth. Respect you President Bush and I cheered for you as I know many others did too…

  14. was he really booed? Haven’t seen other stories about this and all it takes is 4 or 5 people to boo for there to be a report saying “bush was booed”

  15. Not sure Mandela would have wanted Bush there at all.

    Case in point….”It is a tragedy, what is happening, what Bush is doing. But Bush is now undermining the United Nations.”

    And not forgetting this chestnut “What I am condemning is that one power, with a president [Bush] who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust.”

  16. Two things: one, couldn’t it be argued that Obama was helping South Africa by recognizing that the circumstances surrounding an issue were getting better, and scaling back US (government) involvement? Not only does it allow the US to direct their aid to other areas of interest (even possibly in SA), but it empowers the South African government and their citizens to stop relying on government aid and help themselves, which the undoubtedly would be able to do better than the US government, a grossly external entity who knows much less about the AIDS situation in South Africa than do the people who live there.

    Second, it’s important to recognize that a typical South African’s opinion of the American president is probably not (and definitely should not be) wholly and directly derivative of how much AIDS funding he has given to the country. South Africans are people; people have multiple interests. If we felt about our president (or god forbid, decided presidential elections) in the same fashion as this article has suggested the South African people ought to feel about the American president, then we would be subject to criticism for not supporting whichever candidate espouses an individual policy from which we stand to benefit the most. Politicians are not judged by the impact of their individual policies; they’re judged by the collective impact that all of their decisions have on both their country and the world. Maybe, just maybe, these people were clapping and booing for something other than financial aid for AIDS research.

    Also, it’s probably a good idea to stop using the abbreviation “FU SA”. Seems pretty unpatriotic to me, as it’s very close to being “F USA” or “FUSA”.

  17. If this were a movie -Obama would quite easily transition to the role of the deceitful loud mouth who has done little good but destroyed much & yet has managed to bamboozle a great swath of the public -meanwhile Bush would no doubt be the humble patsy who always turns the other cheek, not just for the sake of the country but also because some people just have class & can always rise above it, while quietly going about gods work -in the movies we all know which character would get there comeuppance -it sure would be nice to see life imitate art.

  18. That’s why Obama took GWB along on Air Force One. It’s been said that during the long flight, Obama spent it blaming GWB for Mendela’s death. The South Africans cheered Obana, who post haste made a fool of himself, and booed GWB who showed them a little class. Is this ignorance or just plain stupidity?