I promised myself that I wouldn’t write about Bush again, that I would try to erase him from my memory and, as President Obama suggested, move forward. But this story is too good to keep to myself. The reporter is Ryan Grim, senior congressional correspondent for the Huffington Post. Here is his account:
President Bush was given an Iraqi-journalist-style sendoff on his last full day in office Monday, as tourists and demonstrators lobbed shoes, pumps, boots, sandals and Crocs from Pennsylvania Avenue onto the White House lawn.
Before launching the operation live, the shoe-chuckers took target practice in Dupont Circle on a 20-foot-tall blow up doll of the outgoing president, decked out in the flight suit he wore aboard the “Mission Accomplished” aircraft carrier.
Unlike Muntazer al-Zaidi, the Iraqi reporter who inspired the protest, none of the shoe-throwers in the group were arrested. (Later that day, reports NBC, one man was arrested for chucking a shoe at the White House.)
Marching down Connecticut Avenue with handfuls of footwear, the group of about a hundred was on the receiving end of enthusiastic honks, thumbs-up and waves from people in the street.
The reception was almost as warm from the people guarding the White House.
“Don’t hit me!” one officer behind the White House fence joked as shoes rained around him.