Sniffle To The Unknown Power

As ninme pointed out some days ago, the reason the Obamas couldn't move into Blair House was because John Howard was staying there. The occasion was a ceremony today at the White House awarding the Medal of Freedom to Howard and Tony Blair & Alvaro Uribe of Colombia.

Here are the President's remarks.
In the character of John Winston Howard we see that fine Australian spirit of "standing by your mates." Our two countries, though half a world apart, have long enjoyed an easy and natural fellowship. And the 25th Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia stands for all that Americans like and admire most about his wonderful country.
And that's the least of what Bush had to say about Howard. Very nice tributes to Blair
Under Tony Blair's leadership, the might and the moral authority of Great Britain have been applied to the war on terror from the first day. Our nations have worked proudly together to destroy terrorist havens, liberate millions, and help rising democracies to serve the aspirations of their people.

& Uribe too:
Lately I've been asked to reflect on the most memorable events of my presidency. Among those is a phone call I received several months ago from President Uribe. He called to say that a group of hostages -- including three Americans that had been held in captivity for five years -- had been rescued, and were alive and safe and sound. It was a joyful moment, Mr. President. And it was a credit to your leadership.
For President Uribe, the great demands of office continue. Today the United States honors all Colombians by honoring the man they have chosen to lead them. By refusing to allow the land he loves to be destroyed by an enemy within, by proving that terror can be opposed and defeated, President Uribe has reawakened the hopes of his countrymen and shown a model of leadership to a watching world. Colombia remains a nation with challenges. But the future will always be bright in a country that produces such men as President Alvaro Uribe.

A little more:
Each of these gentlemen we honor today has his own style and personality, and each has amassed distinctions and achievements that belong to him alone. Yet all of them have shown a firm adherence to the principles of freedom and democratic values, and a willingness to face problems squarely instead of passing them on to others. They're the sort of guys who look you in the eye and tell you the truth and keep their word. In lengthy service they proved to be leaders of character and fortitude. They are warm friends of the United States of America. The opportunity to know them and work with them has been among the great satisfactions of my time as President. I respect them and I admire them.
Among Bush's other lovely qualities, the man knows how to say thank you to outstanding friends. There's video, too, if you've the time. Off to wring out the hankie.