|Bush Dispatches Rumsfeld to
Nashville, Tenn (FGAQ) -- As noted in these pages on Friday, President Bush was forced to cancel his Earth Day visit to Dollywood due to weather conditions which could have made landing the presidential hovercraft potentially dangerous. Rather than scuttle the mission entirely, the administration opted to send Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld in his stead.
Rumsfeld had hoped to meet with Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen to discuss placement of missile defense sites in the Great Smokey Mountains. Bredesen, however, was not informed that the president was sending the Defense Secretary in his place, and had already departed on a fact finding mission to the NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. Dolly Parton was called upon to act as the governor's envoy for the meeting.
The results of the meeting are not known. However, a particularly ebullient Rumsfeld joined Parton on stage later that night at the Grand Old Opry. Following a rousing version of 'I Will Always Love You', Parton told the crowd, "I want to introduce a man that we all will always love." The band launched into a countrified version of 'The Antler Dance', and the secretary appeared on stage in a Dolly-white suit to thunderous applause. "This is a great night," he shouted to the solidly Republican crowd. "We have another Bush victory. Kurt Busch has just taken the Nextel Cup!" With the crowd still cheering, he then launched into a throaty version of 'Rock-A-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody', which onlookers described as surprisingly competent.
©2005, M Hoback