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Bush Applauds Gandhi's "Easy To Pronounce Name"
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NEW DELHI, India - President Bush met with presumptive Indian Prime Minister-elect Sonia Gandhi to congratulate her and her Congress Party for wresting control of the world's largest democracy from the United India Party and former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. "India enters a new era, and sets an example for the rest of the modern world," he began in a speech before the Indian parliament, "By appointing leaders with names that people can read and pronounce easily. At a time when the world faces names like Hamid Karzai, Iajuddin Ahmed, and Girma Woldegiorgis, India has stood up and chosen a name as common as 'Smith' or 'Jones'. I applaud that decision."

"[Will he] next praise Italy for its great impersonation of a boot?"
-- Democratic candidate John Kerry
White House spokesman Scott McClellan later indicated that the President's words were meant as a compliment both to Party Leader Gandhi and to the Indian people, but many Indians were put off by the speech. "We support Sonia Gandhi because of her many promises to us," explained Niranjan Ramachandran, a first-year medical student, "Not to assist Western leaders with their diction." A mother of seven and fruit packager, Nagasree Atmuri, was also unimpressed. "Perhaps these 'Smith' and 'Jones' names are popular in your country," she explained, "But in India these names sound silly, like a brand name of soap or coffee. Not a name for a person, certainly not for a trusted leader."

Democratic candidate John Kerry was quick to jump on this latest gaffe. "We don't need a leader that hands out paper compliments," he told a crowd of textile workers, "We need a leader that recognizes the issues. Can we expect him to next praise Italy for its great impersonation of a boot?" One worker, Cassie Fischer, commented after the speech, "He's right, it really does look like a boot. That's cool."

"I find it interesting that a man with a Wolfowitz, a Negroponte, and a Condoleezza in his address book can praise someone else for their simple names," commented Bill O'Reilly, wryly.
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