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Bush Booed During Mandela Memorial

by Keith Koffler on December 10, 2013, 3:04 pm

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.

{ 2 trackbacks }


gracepmc December 10, 2013 at 3:18 pm


srdem65 December 10, 2013 at 3:24 pm

I got nothin’ to add to that.

Mandy Manners December 10, 2013 at 3:33 pm

That’s a mighty bigoted assumption you’re making, that only blacks booed him.

Mandy Manners December 10, 2013 at 5:43 pm

My, aren’t you charming.

ted December 10, 2013 at 9:18 pm

It’s a reliable assumption when 79 percent of South Africa is black. Take your ignorance of statistics and shove it.

Mandy Manners December 10, 2013 at 10:45 pm

My, you’re charming, too.

Sharon December 11, 2013 at 7:05 am

Of course, It was and is a “black” thing…the first thought that crossed my mind. Add to that the tabloid media who try to convince us that somewhere Obama is popular, South Africa for example, to somehow justify his declining popularity in the U.S. In comparison, for example, the 2012 statistics for the U.S. show 63% White (not Hispanic or Latino) and 13% Black.

Girly1 December 10, 2013 at 3:39 pm


gracepmc December 10, 2013 at 4:04 pm

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..

Julie Brueckheimer December 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Spot on, Grace.

Sadie December 10, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Ditto and applauding!!!

Girly1 December 10, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Spot on!!!!!!!

Susan December 10, 2013 at 5:45 pm

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.

Jeff December 10, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Simply said but oh so true!

DeniseVB December 10, 2013 at 6:26 pm

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.

Julie Brueckheimer December 10, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Exactly right!

Lizzy December 11, 2013 at 12:44 am

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.

Edmund Spenser December 12, 2013 at 3:51 pm

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.

Langley Spook December 10, 2013 at 4:57 pm


Owen_Kellogg December 10, 2013 at 5:56 pm

This isn’t a ‘black’ thing. It’s an ‘idiot’ thing.

Mandy Manners December 10, 2013 at 6:09 pm


rawheadrex December 10, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Some behavior does not deserve the dignity of recognition by civilized people.

Mandy Manners December 10, 2013 at 3:32 pm

“Bush has done an far greater amount for South Africa than Obama.”

FCMABBO’s been busy helping flood Africa with AQIM.

AFVet December 10, 2013 at 3:40 pm

This site does not work.

Julie Brueckheimer December 10, 2013 at 3:46 pm

OK, guys. I don’t text. AQIM? BCNU?

Mandy Manners December 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm

AQIM is Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. They’ve flourished under FCMABBHO.

AFVet December 10, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Be see’n you.
I’m tired of the comments disappearing.
Keith needs to do some revamping of the site.
Commenting on here can become frustrating to say the least.

gracepmc December 10, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Mine is acceptable when using the laptop. Totally screwy and frustrating with the tablet .

DeniseVB December 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Keep on keeping on AFVet ! WHD is worth the glitches :)

Mandy Manners December 10, 2013 at 6:57 pm

If one of my comments disappears, I post “test” and it appears.

Lee December 10, 2013 at 4:02 pm

The posting worked for me today. AFVet keep trying.

Mr. Bush, I am sorry you had to be part of that.

Now for my fellow readers. O should have at least shook is head in a No No way. If he was not able to speak again, and speak well of his fellow citizen President Bush: He should have

Lee December 10, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Note I am able to post today, but they are posting in the wrong spot. I had responded to your post about this site does not work, than it appeared at a different spot.

AFVet December 10, 2013 at 4:23 pm

That’s why I say that Keith needs to revamp the site.
The comment section appears to be separate from the main posting section.
Note the reloads, and the disappearance of comments and replies.
The comment section needs to have it’s capacity expanded.

Lee December 10, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Even when I can’t post, I still like to read the comments.

gracepmc December 10, 2013 at 4:13 pm

He should have stood, turned to Bush and applauded him.

Lee December 10, 2013 at 4:22 pm

That would have been even better.

Julie Brueckheimer December 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm


Julie Brueckheimer December 10, 2013 at 3:44 pm

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)

Julie Brueckheimer December 10, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Also, we don’t how much money (of ours) Obama spread around before hand. Tee shirts, anyone?

AFVet December 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Not to mention the 10.5 Billion dollars the American taxpayer lost when the government sold the shares of GM.

Geoff Caldwell December 10, 2013 at 3:48 pm

There are special places reserved for Bush and Obama. I just pray I’m going where Bush is.

Lee December 10, 2013 at 4:05 pm


MarjoJimbo December 10, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Bush doesn’t need the praise and acknowledgement. Obama does, whether he deserves it or not.

Star December 10, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Mandela’s son died of AIDS, I believe. This is disgraceful. I am done with this whole thing.

Girly1 December 10, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Did Obama bring his ACORN plants along for the trip?

Bush spends 90 minutes with reporters on AF1 – Obama avoids.
Obamas spend all of their time in private cabin.
Holder accidentally wanders into press cabin; departs quickly.

Julie Brueckheimer December 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm

That is not a far-fetched question, Girly1. It all seemed staged.

DeniseVB December 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Should have read ahead :)

LCDR M(Ret) December 11, 2013 at 7:37 am

If I were the Bushes, I would prefer to spend all my time with the press pool than the Obamas. Heck, I’d swim in a pool full of piranhas than sit with the Obamas.

Wez December 10, 2013 at 3:55 pm

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.

Star December 10, 2013 at 3:58 pm

You are quick to judge us, whereas we have spent yrs figuring all this out. Why not come to a new site, scope it out, then add something besides insults.

Star December 10, 2013 at 3:59 pm

We have heard this event was a chance for Zuma to change the subj from his foibles–same for our president.

gracepmc December 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm

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.

AFVet December 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Primitive and shallow views ?
Not this crowd Wez.
Your in the wrong forum.

Lee December 10, 2013 at 4:13 pm

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.

Julie Brueckheimer December 10, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Actually, there should have been NO booing at a funeral. Did the South Africans honor Mandela’s memory by booing Zuma? This should not have been turned into a political event.

Lee December 10, 2013 at 4:52 pm


Girly1 December 10, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Agree 110%, Julie.

gracepmc December 10, 2013 at 6:23 pm


Mandy Manners December 10, 2013 at 6:28 pm

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.

Mike St December 10, 2013 at 10:26 pm

I don’t care if you are impressed by handouts, wez – you done took’em, right?

Julie Brueckheimer December 10, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Anything on how the Clintons were received? They looked as if they had been swilling pickle brine.

gracepmc December 10, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Don’t know. Don’t much care.

But, was Joe there?

Remember back in the day when the VP’s job was to attend state funerals?

Julie Brueckheimer December 10, 2013 at 6:46 pm

No Joe. He’s out of the country too. Still in Asia?

SandyLester December 10, 2013 at 4:04 pm

obama is black after all

gracepmc December 10, 2013 at 4:09 pm

by choice. self identified.

Owen_Kellogg December 10, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Just as every cop is a criminal, and all the sinners saints . . .”


Sanchez December 10, 2013 at 4:10 pm

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.

Julie Brueckheimer December 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm


gracepmc December 10, 2013 at 4:35 pm

! Yes.

MarjoJimbo December 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm


David December 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Here is a link to an interesting/enlightening article from Time Magazine when Bob Geldof interviewed President Bush. The interview occurred in 2008. For those under 40, Gelldof was the driving force behind numerous Live Aid concerts that benefited Africa (do they know its Christmas after all..). You would expect him to have a negative view of the President- but read the article:,8599,1717934,00.html

Brenda A. December 10, 2013 at 11:35 pm

David, thanks for the link. The interview gives an interesting perspective.

Michael December 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Message to those South Africans who cheered Obama wildly today: if you like our president, you can keep him…

Langley Spook December 10, 2013 at 5:12 pm


gracepmc December 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm


Car in December 10, 2013 at 5:23 pm

I like that idea!

gracepmc December 10, 2013 at 5:19 pm

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.

srdem65 December 10, 2013 at 5:31 pm

The and the have both featured those photos on their “front page”.

Some comments:
It’s going to be a loooooong flight home.
or my fav
He should just take the limo home.

DeniseVB December 10, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Also on Washington Post ! Of course, going viral on conservative news sites :D

Julie Brueckheimer December 10, 2013 at 6:54 pm

That was surprising, but if you look at the comments, most of their readers seemed to think it was cool.

Lee December 10, 2013 at 5:40 pm

I just saw that on The Five as well. O looks like a young highschool kid taking that picture.
President Bush and Mrs. Bush may just want to buy some earplugs for their flight home.

rulierose December 10, 2013 at 6:00 pm

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?

SalemWitch December 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm

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!

gracepmc December 10, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Surely you must know some magic witch trick to get you out. Or perhaps a broom?

Mandy Manners December 10, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Throw a bucket of water on her?

Grandma Di December 10, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Stick it and fly away….*itch.

Louis Stouch December 10, 2013 at 8:16 pm

and obama is not a liar and a murderer?

my lord you are ignorant. yes, please leave and do us all a favor.

Lizzy December 11, 2013 at 5:19 am

You got in on your own just reverse the process.

Louis Stouch December 10, 2013 at 8:14 pm

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.

Beth Dewsbery December 11, 2013 at 10:50 am

thanks for the racism. nice to hear.

dan cooper December 10, 2013 at 8:41 pm

When will our government learn that you can’t buy your friends.

Mike St December 10, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Who the hell boos someone at a memorial service?

CiscoKid December 10, 2013 at 11:23 pm

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.

Brenda A. December 10, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Thanks for this, Keith.

DMcG December 11, 2013 at 1:36 am

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.”

Beth Dewsbery December 11, 2013 at 10:45 am

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. :)

feezy December 11, 2013 at 1:40 pm

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.

Anonna December 11, 2013 at 3:57 pm

We live in a WORLD of rude and racist childish adults, it seems.

A-dotty December 11, 2013 at 9:25 pm

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

Vicky Casry December 12, 2013 at 12:46 am

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…

dee December 12, 2013 at 1:20 am

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”

joanne December 12, 2013 at 8:43 am

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.”

foxba December 12, 2013 at 10:59 am

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”.

Gabby05 December 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm

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.

L.E. Liesner December 16, 2013 at 12:35 pm

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?