google site on topic of US anthem in English or whatever

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon May 8 13:19:01 UTC 2006

Here's a google page devoted to the topic of the US national anthem and
the language it should (or should not) be sung in:

And in case you're wondering about Bush's proficiency in Spanish, here's
an article that denies it:

No Habla Espanol

By Dan Froomkin
Special to
Friday, May 5, 2006; 12:48 PM

The Bush mythology is full of convenient little fictions -- like the one
that he speaks Spanish fluently. The president delights in injecting a
phrase or two of Spanish into a speech or photo opportunity. And over the
years, the misconception that he is proficient in the language has spread
far and wide, and even crept into some credulous news stories. But
suddenly, it's not so convenient. Bush critics are accusing him of
hypocrisy for publicly opposing the singing of the national anthem in
Spanish -- when he allegedly did it himself during his presidential

So as part of the attempt to swat that story down, the White House itself
is calling attention to Bush's foreign-language shortcomings. "I'm saying
that not only was that suggestion absurd, but that he couldn't possibly
sing the national anthem in Spanish. He's not that good with his Spanish,"
press secretary Scott McClellan said yesterday. "The president speaks
Spanish, but not that well." The Associated Press reports: "McClellan's
comment was noticeable because presidential press secretaries usually
boast about a president's ability rather than talk about any shortcomings.
McClellan is in the last days of his job, leaving the White House next

Agence France Presse reports: "Bush's knowledge of Spanish is insufficient
to sing 'Nuestro Himno,' the new Spanish-language version of the US
national anthem, a White House spokesman said." Steve Holland writes for
Reuters: "President George W. Bush boldly spews out Spanish phrases at any
opportunity where they might be relevant, but the White House acknowledged
on Thursday that Bush's fluency is, well, not bueno. . . . "Bush, a former
governor of Texas, sprinkles his speeches with Spanish phrases, as he did
during both his presidential campaigns, to show kinship with Hispanics.

"He was at it again on Thursday, celebrating Cinco De Mayo, the day
marking the May 5, 1862, Mexican defeat of the French army at the Battle
of Puebla, with a smattering of Spanish phrases and urging newly arrived
immigrants to learn English. " 'Bienvenidos, welcome to the White House,'
he said."

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