Bush starts speech circuit
Thu, Feb 26, 2009

WASHINGTON - FORMER US president George W. Bush next month will give the first of at least 10 speeches that will take him to Canada, Europe and Asia, a source familiar with his plans said on Wednesday.

'He has 10 events scheduled over the next year, including Canada, Europe and Asia,' the source told AFP on condition of anonymity because the former president's travel plans were not public.

Mr Bush's representatives at the Washington Speaker's Bureau declined to answer several telephone calls and email messages seeking comment on his plans, first reported Monday in the online political news site Politico.com.

The first speech, billed as 'A Conversation With George W. Bush,' is set for March 17 in Calgary, Canada - a generally conservative province with an oil industry that could be especially welcoming to the former president.

Canadian media reported that the event is expected to draw about 1,500 people and that organizers have refused to detail Bush's fee, which the speakers bureau Internet site says depends on event location.

While the topic has not been made public, the bureau's only subject-matter listing is 'Remarks by George W. Bush.'

'President during a momentous period in American history, George W. Bush offers his thoughts on eight years in the Oval Office, the challenges facing our nation in the 21st century, the power of freedom, the role of faith, and other pressing issues,' it says in its profile of the former president.

The bureau represents a legion of famous folks, including the former president's younger brother Jeb, former US first lady Laura Bush, former US secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.

Its clients also include former Irish prime minister Bertie Ahearn, former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar, British 'Monty Python' funnyman John Cleese, former British prime minister John Major, and 1984 Olympic gold-medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton.


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