Although the president's aides do not expect to resolve the stickiest issues dividing the two sides during the visit to the Bush family retreat on the rocky Maine coast July 1-2, they hope the relaxed setting will restore U.S.-Russian relations to a more constructive footing. In more than six years as president, Bush has never asked any foreign leader to join him at his parents' seaside home until now, and aides hope Putin will be impressed with the show of intimacy.
So! Russian president Vladimir Putin will be spending a July weekend at Kennebunkport.
Michael A. McFaul, a scholar at Stanford University, said U.S.-Russian relations have reached the lowest point in 20 years. Administration officials "are apoplectic" and "it feels to them like a crisis," McFaul said. A year ago, administration officials disagreed about how to interpret Russia; today, the debate is over. But McFaul added: "Nobody has a good idea of what is to be done."
It's almost unheard of -- Junior inviting Putin to join him during a stay at his parents' place in Kennebunkport.
What the Washington Post doesn't say, but what occurs to a lot of us is that our president will be getting some help. Bush, who has joined with Putin in an effort to destroy all vestiges of a decent relationship between the US and Russia, may not intend to look deep into Putin's soul this time. Instead, he may be treating Putin to some face time with a seasoned internationalist, George H.W. Bush.
It won't be the first time the former president moves to save America from his son. The Iraq Study Group, a Bush Sr. administration group, is beginning to affect Bush Jr.'s Iraq policy.