TOYAKO, Japan (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush on Monday kept up his tradition of informal relations with fellow world leaders by summoning with a brusque "Yo Harper!"
Television footage of a G8 lunch with African leaders showed Bush talking to Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua and saying "Yo Harper! The president of Nigeria."
At a Tony Blair in some trouble by calling out "Yo Blair!"in 2006, Bush landed ally
Critics said the greeting showed what they described as the unequal nature of Bush's relationship with Blair, then the British prime minister.
And at the same summit, Bush shockedby briefly massaging her back as he walked behind her chair.
Harper's ties with Bush are sensitive, since critics of Canada's right-wing Conservative government regularly accuse it of taking orders from Washington.
It was not the first time that Bush has surprised Harper in public. In July 2006, after the two men met at the White House for the first time, Bush publicly called the Canadian "Steve."
Analysts said at the time this might actually help Harper dispel questions about the closeness of his relationship with Bush, since no one who even slightly knew the somewhat wooden Canadian leader would ever think of him as "Steve."
Bush has since referred to Harper in public as "Stephen."
Asked for a reaction to the "Yo Harper!" comment, Harper's spokeswoman said she had not been at the lunch.
Now Stephen Harper has disappointed me as PM. He's quite a cool (and I don't mean that in a groovy kind of way) rather distant person - though that's not what I find disappointing. So to imagine Bush hailing him as Yo, Harper really tickled my funny bone!
And in other news - as of last Sunday - I've stopped buying books!
No, no, no - not for good. That will NEVER happen. I've just stopped buying them until I get to San Francisco. As one of the BIG draws is books, books, hundreds of wonderful book - I don't want to have them all before I get there. So for the time being I've banned myself from Chapters. It will be tough, but I KNOW I can do this - I hope.