Bill Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard and leading figure in the 'vast right wing conspiracy' was speaking at an event in Brussels organised by the German Marshall Fund.
After a broad exegesis of current trends in conservative thinking in the US the event was opened up for questions.
He was immediately assailed by some Commission official, who after the usual flummery attacked the US's double deficit, suggesting that the US economy was heading toward a form of economic meltdown. His response was like a slow steamroller, imperceptibly building to a devastating double punch line, when it comes to the running of an economy he said "I think that with 5% unemployment and 4% growth you can create some quite good results. I think it is really great that the European Central Bank has kept interest rates so high to stop any chance of economic growth here".He went on to discuss the similarities between the Truman presidency and the Bush presidency, interestingly following up the comments I heard last week about Colin Powell. Whilst agreeing with the feeling that it was odd that Europe liked Powell so much, while Powell himself was less enamoured he gave us an anecdote. It transpires that under the first three years of the Truman Presidency there were four Secretaries of Defense, "Powell visibly cheered up when told that one secretary of Defense, committed suicide by jumping from a 12th floor window".