Foreign Leaders Favor Bush

The Saudis, that is.

In blogosphere time, this is an old story, but for those who have been in a cave for 24 hours, you can read more about it here. Basically it’s this: The Bush White House and the Saudis have a "sweetheart deal" in which the Saudi government will lower gas prices just prior to our elections, a move that would favor Bush.

The response from the right wing pundits about this piece of news? It’s this: [sound of crickets chirping and a sagebrush ambling by].

So what is it guys? Is Woodward a liar, too? And answer me this question posed by Calpundit: "What would be [your] reaction if Woodward reported that Jacques Chirac had agreed to hold up a new UN resolution until November, just to make Bush look bad?"

UPDATE: Even though Woodward has clarified that the Saudi’s offer of political help to Bush does not necessarily mean it was a "quid pro quo", the Bush White House seems curiously unable to deny that there was indeed a deal:

WH PRESS CONFERENCE – APRIL 19, 2004

QUESTION: There were no conversations specifically about the President’s reelection?

MR. McCLELLAN: You can ask Prince Bandar to —

QUESTION: But from the point — I mean, conversations are obviously two ways.

MR. McCLELLAN: — what his comments were. But the conversations we have are related to our long-held views that we have stated repeatedly publicly, that market forces should determine prices.

QUESTION: To follow up on that then, I would gather that the White House view is one of expectation that the Saudis would increase oil production between now and November.

MR. McCLELLAN: Our views are very well-known to Saudi Arabia. Prince Bandar made a commitment at the stakeout that I will let speak for itself. You all should look back to those remarks.

QUESTION: We’re missing the allegation here, which is that Prince Bandar and the Saudis have made a commitment to lower oil prices to help the President politically. Is that your —

MR. McCLELLAN: I’m not going to speak for Prince Bandar. You can direct those comments to him. I can tell you that what our views are and what he said at the stakeout is what we know his views are, as well.

QUESTION: Does the White House have any knowledge of such a commitment?

MR. McCLELLAN: I’m sorry?

QUESTION: Does the White House have any knowledge of such a commitment?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I’m not going to speak for Prince Bandar. You can direct those questions —

QUESTION: Is there a deal?

MR. McCLELLAN: — I wouldn’t speculate one way or the other. You can direct those questions to him, but I’m telling you —

What do you think?