What George Walker Bush does not realize is that John Winston Howard, who covets lavish ceremonies and other such relics of Empire, may have laughed along with the rest of the crowd when Bush belittled him as a man who "doesn't have any hair" and is "not the prettiest person on the block", but he was surely crying on the inside.
It's not the first time Bush has belittled a world leader with such barbed "humour". At least there were no short jokes (is it just a coicidence that Bush, Blair, Howard, Aznar and Berlusconi are all short buggers? Hitler was short too).
Bush also said that he expected Howard to outlast him as a politician, which (unless Bush expects to be impeached soon) indicates that Howard is not over there to say goodbye (so why is he over there?). And just to help Howard stay in power a bit longer, Bush promised not to pursue the AWB scandal in the USA (is that why Howard is over there?).
But maybe Howard should be listening to someone a little more well-informed than Bush. For example, Rupert Murdoch:
"I think the prime minister could [keep going] if he wanted to, but I doubt it. He's probably planning to go out on the top," he told ABC radio.
"I'd like to see him stay, but he's had 10 years there and it's a record.
"He's on top of his form, and much better to go out that way than like Margaret Thatcher or losing an election."