Bush’s Iraq Speech to Proceed

Times Staff Writer

Although bruised and bumped, President Bush plans to proceed tonight with the first of six planned speeches on the future of Iraq.

On Sunday, a day after his tumble from a mountain bike on his Texas ranch, the effects were evident as he boarded Air Force One bound for his daughter Barbara’s graduation at Yale University: a cut on his upper lip and scrapes on his nose, chin and hand.

But aides were quick to note that the president was not daunted by his Saturday tumble, which occurred when he hit mud on a downhill slope.

White House spokesman Trent Duffy said the president took another long bike ride Sunday morning in Crawford, Texas, then spent the day “reviewing drafts” and working on the address.


Much of the weekend, however, was devoted to family time and his twin daughters’ college graduation festivities.

The Bushes celebrated Jenna’s degree in English from the University of Texas with a dinner Saturday at a favorite Austin restaurant. Then to honor Barbara, who earns a humanities degree from Yale today, the Bushes came to New Haven on Sunday. They remained in seclusion at a private home, away from a smattering of antiwar protesters.

In another transportation mishap for Bush, Air Force One was briefly stuck in the mud Sunday while taxiing for takeoff from New Haven.

Tonight’s speech, to be delivered at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., will lay out Bush’s vision for the future of Iraq after the hand-over of sovereignty.

CNN, C-SPAN, Fox News and MSNBC will air the speech at 5 p.m. PDT. Duffy said the White House hadn’t asked for airtime.