Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Obama's dinner in Japan: no Bushu-suru

The president dined in Japan but did not, like one former president, vomit.

Obama's dinner in Japan: no Bushu-suru

Remember President George H.W. Bush vomiting at a formal banquet in Japan in 1992?

The moment became instant fodder for comedians and even created a Japanese expression -- Bushu-suru -- which translates as "to do the Bush thing."

Well, President Obama just dined in Japan at the Imperial Palace in Toyko (Bush was at the home of the then-prime minister), and having seen at the state dinner menu Obama was offered, I can see why Bushu-suru is within the realm of possibility.

But only if one were to sample everything.

According to White House press pool reports, dinner included: consomme, followed by red sea bream steamed in champagne, followed by roasted leg of lamb, followed by seasonal salad, followed by ice cream in the image of Mt. Fuji, followed by fruit.

But what could cause a mild gastric upset was what went with the food, and after the food.

There was a Fench white wine, Corton Charlemagne 1992; a French red wine, Chateau Margaux 1994 (the latter sells for around $400 a-bottle in the U.S.); Dom Perignon champagne and Japanese sake.


But there was also Sandeman medium dry sherry as an apperitif and THEN after-dinner drinks: Hennessy Extra, Cointreau, Peppermint liqueur and Ballantine's 30-year old scotch (which is priced in the U.S. at $440 a-bottle.)

No word on the president's consumption levels. But no sign, either, of a Bushu-suru.


John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
Also on
Stay Connected