- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Elephants leave Bushes blushing
Question of the Day
GABORONE, Botswana -- It was supposed to be a priceless photo-op, showcasing the first family marveling at African wildlife on a pristine game preserve. It turned into a sexually awkward moment of elephantine proportions.
President Bush and first lady Laura Bush took daughter Barbara, 21, on a tour of the Mokolodi Nature Reserve in Botswana yesterday.
"It looks a lot like Crawford," said Mr. Bush, referring to the Texas town he calls home, as he gazed across the 10,000-acre savanna.
White House press wranglers then hustled a gaggle of journalists to positions for the day's photo opportunity. Four elephants stood in a clearing and munched the top leaves of an acacia tree.
The presidential vehicle pulled up two minutes later and parked 15 feet in front of the pachyderms. Mr. Bush leaned over to shake the hand of elephant trainer Uttum Corea with an affable "How you doing?"
As news cameras began clicking and whirring to record the moment for posterity, a male elephant named Shaka reared up and tried to mount a female elephant named Thandi.
The journalists convulsed with laughter as Mr. Bush turned to the cameras and smiled sheepishly. Miss Bush threw back her head in embarrassment and covered her face with her hands.
Then Mr. Bush pulled his cap over his face to shield himself from the impending union, which turned out to be unsuccessful.
In an attempt to relieve the tension, Mr. Corea told the president: "Shaka has been practicing this since he was five years old. This is how elephants learn about the birds and the bees."
After Shaka's passions had cooled, Mr. Corea said he "looked into the elephants' eyes" and decided it was safe to approach them. One of Mr. Corea's trainers walked over and climbed onto Shaka's back.
"Any volunteers?" Mr. Corea asked the Bushes. The president jumped out of his truck, followed by Barbara and a Secret Service agent.
"Sir, do you really want to do that?" the agent was overheard murmuring in an urgent tone.
Unfazed, Mr. Bush approached the elephants, stroked their tusks and turned to face the cameras. He gestured for his daughter to come closer, although she moved behind the president when an elephant raised a tusk.
"Good boy," Mr. Bush said as he patted a pachyderm.
"OK, darling, that's enough," called out Mrs. Bush.
"Bye, Shaka," the president said as he walked back to the truck.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was as diplomatic as ever when asked whether the symbols of the Republican Party had wandered off message.
"The elephants were on message," Mr. Powell deadpanned. "We were all on message."
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq