WASHINGTON, DC -- In yet another twist to his ever-changing saga, President George W. Bush yesterday referred to former President Gerald Ford as "Henry Ford" during his weekly radio address to the nation.
"Henry Ford was a great man and a great president," Bush said of the 37th president, who passed away last month. "He healed our nation and brought it out of the days of darkness following the Vietnam War. He was also a great athlete and a top-of-the-line auto designer.
"To honor President Ford, I encourage every one of you to buy one of his vehicles," Bush continued, stating that with the recent tax-cuts, spending money on a Ford is exactly what everyone needs. "President Ford defined everything that was American -- and now, so must we in his honor," he said.
As White House staffers snickered and Press Secretary Tony Snow looked on with horror, Bush continued, confessing that his whole family drives Ford vehicles and that his Presidential limousine is also a Ford.
"There's something uniquely American about a Ford," Bush said. "We're big fans of Ford -- the Bush family are -- and it's not just something that happened because Henry passed away. We've been big fans since we were teenagers.
"In fact," Bush added, "in 1963, when Laura was involved in that drunk-and-driving accident, she was driving a Ford."
Bush intended to go on with the tribute to President Ford, but was cut short when a frantic Snow entered the studio, turned off the microphone and pulled him out.
The damage, however, had already been made.
"Because of modern technology, there is no way of taking what he said back," said newly-appointed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. "For the first time today, the president confirmed to the nation that he not only lacks the ability to think, he also failed 9th grade history."
Although the family of Mike Douglas (not to be confused with actor Michael Douglas) could not be reached for comment, a source close to the family said Bush's comments brought up old wounds.
"It's almost like a joke to him," the source said. "He showed extreme insensitivity and compassion by bringing up a tragic incident that the Douglas family has never really recovered from."
Bush, of course, was speaking about the 1963 accident in which, then 18-year-old Laura Welch, rear-ended the car of a classmate, killing him instantly. Although she was not charged, it was suspected at the time that she'd been drinking.
Snow, a former Fox TV anchor turned White House spokesman, was left speechless. In fact, he did not speak to the media for hours after the incident.
When he made himself available, Snow said the president's remarks, while a bit strange, were not out of place.
"Henry Ford, Gerald Ford, 2004 Ford Taurus, it?s all the same to him," Snow said. "The point is that the president is very busy and stressed and has his mind on a lot of things -- like fishing and golfing, so sometimes he does tend to misspeak. You can't blame him for that."
In a related story, the White House announced today it will adopt Britney Spears' rendition of "Oops, I Did It Again," to chronicle the blunders of the Bush saga.
"We'll have a team of Secret Service agents who'll follow him," Snow said. "Every time he makes a mistake, they'll start singing 'Oops, I Did It Again.'"
The Bush staff, it is reported, is getting extremely tired of the song.