January 24, 2004

Cherie [Blair] said Bush 'stole' power and tackled him on executions

Three more US soldiers were killed in Iraq this
weekend...Even Newsweak is reporting that 52% of the
US electorate does not want the _resident to remain in
is just the-shell-of-a-man-formerly-known-as-Tony-Blair, but
Cherie Blair...she now has her name scrawled on the
John O'Neill Wall of Heroes...

London Times: Cherie Blair is said to have made no
secret of her conviction that Mr Bush “stole” the
presidential election, and picked an argument with him
over the death penalty during a private dinner.

Repudiate the 9/11 Coverup and the Iraq War Lies, Show
Up for Democracy in 2004: Defeat Bush (again!)


Cherie [Blair] said Bush 'stole' power and tackled him on executions
London Times | January 24, 2003 | London Times

Posted on 01/24/2004 12:38:57 AM PST by ejdrapes

January 24, 2004

2001: the visit when Cherie Blair put her views on

Cherie said Bush 'stole' power and tackled him on

By Nicholas Wapshott in New York, Philip Webster and
David Charter

TONY BLAIR has been embarrassed by his wife’s displays
of open animosity towards President Bush, according to
a forthcoming biography of the Prime Minister.

Cherie Blair is said to have made no secret of her
conviction that Mr Bush “stole” the presidential
election, and picked an argument with him over the
death penalty during a private dinner.

Although the Prime Minister was pragmatic about Mr
Bush’s victory, Mrs Blair was far less sanguine about
the Supreme Court decision that gave him the keys to
the White House. She believed Al Gore had been
“robbed” of the presidency and was hostile to the idea
of her husband “cosying” up to the new President.

Even as they flew to Washington for their first
meeting with the presidential couple, Mrs Blair was in
no mood to curry favour, the book Tony Blair: The
Making of a World Leader by Philip Stephens, states.
“Cherie Blair still believed that Bush had stolen the
White House from Gore,” he wrote. She asked more than
once during the journey why they had to be so nice to
“these people”.

Mrs Blair scarcely concealed her impatience as the
Blair team debated on the plane whether the gift he
had brought for the President, a bust of Winston
Churchill, was of sufficient quality for the Oval
Office. They decided to find a better one and that Mr
Blair would tell the President it was on its way. Mrs
Blair was annoyed at the fuss but was overruled.
Another bust was delivered months later.

The book’s disclosures of Mrs Blair’s forthright views
will cause embarrassment in Downing Street, because of
Mr Blair’s good working relations with Mr Bush, and
the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, although they
will not surprise officials or ministers who know her
well. She is known for expressing her views forcefully
in private.

Stephens writes that Mrs Blair behaved impeccably at
her first meeting with the President “for all her
outspoken resentment on the flight” and “to the great
relief of her husband and aides” she had been at pains
to make friends with Laura Bush.

But when the Bushes came to Britain in the summer of
2001, Mrs Blair, “more tribal in her politics than
Tony”, according to a close family friend, embarrassed
her husband. As the two couples sat down to dinner,
with the officials no longer there, Mrs Blair could
not resist an argument. She is a human rights lawyer
and turned to the death penalty, a subject on which
she has blunt views.

Judicial executions were an immoral violation of human
rights, an affront under the US Constitution as much
as under European laws to the fundamental principles
of justice, she said. This opinion was delivered to a
man who as Governor of Texas signed warrants for more
than 150 executions.

Mr Blair was reported to have “squirmed”, even though
he shares her opposition to the death penalty. The
author says that when he asked Mr Blair about the
incident during research for the book he looked
uncomfortable — all he would say was that Cherie had
raised the issue but as far as he was concerned the
United States and Britain simply had different

A Downing Street spokesman said: “She has always had a
good relationship with President Bush and has of
course discussed many issues with him, including
capital punishment. The discussions have always been

Stephens also states that later in the evening Mr Bush
had been embarrassed by his wife. Laura Bush had made
it clear that her views on abortion were a great deal
more liberal than his.

Mrs Blair, who is writing a book about prime
ministers’ spouses, has made her forthright views
known several times in situations that have caused
alarm at No 10. She issued an apology after saying
during a visit to Britain by Queen Rania of Jordan in
June 2002 that young Palestinians “feel they have got
no hope but to blow themselves up”. Last month she
said that “Saudi Arabia’s image in the world is
appalling” over its treatment of women, in a speech in
front of the Saudi Ambassador.

Stephens’s book also reveals the coolness shown by
Vice- President Cheney in his early meetings with Mr
Blair and how Mr Cheney showed his hostility later on
to Mr Blair’s efforts to persuade Mr Bush to work
through the UN before war against Iraq. He made
“occasional, acid” interventions during the crucial
Camp David summit and “during the following days and
months he would be the constant disrupting force in
the Anglo-American relationship”. Stephens adds: “If
Donald Rumsfeld discomfited Blair with his public
disdain for multilateralism, Cheney sought to
undermine the Prime Minister privately.”

Stephens is a political columnist on the Financial
Times and the paper’s former political editor. His
250-page biography of Mr Blair was commissioned by the
publishers Viking to meet an urgent demand from
Americans for more information about the Prime
Minister and his family. Since Mr Blair became Mr
Bush’s closest ally in the war on terrorism he has
become universally popular with Americans, not least
for his ability to describe al-Qaeda’s threat with an
eloquence that the President cannot match.

There has been widespread concern among Americans that
Mr Blair’s intimate support for President Bush might
have damaged his prospects of re-election.

The book is published in America on February 5 and is
expected to sell well in the Anglophile cities of New
York and Washington.

Posted by richard at January 24, 2004 09:28 AM