President Bush Dubbed 'Walking Eagle' by Native Americans
According to this forwarded email, tribal elders at a Native American gathering (dis)honored President G.W. Bush by giving him the Indian name 'Walking Eagle.'
Description: Email joke
Circulating since: Nov. 2004 (this version)
Email example contributed by Meredith Z., Feb. 8, 2005:
President Bush was invited to address a major gathering of the American Indian Nation last weekend in Arizona. He spoke for almost an hour on his future plans for increasing every Native American's present standard of living. He referred to his career as Governor of Texas, how he had signed "YES" 1,237 times - for every Indian issue that came to his desk for approval.
Although the President was vague on the details of his plan, he seemed most enthusiastic about his future ideas for helping his "red brother"
At the conclusion of his speech, the Tribes presented the President with a plaque inscribed with his new Indian name - Walking Eagle. The proud President then departed in his motorcade, waving to the crowds
A news reporter later inquired to the group of chiefs of how they come to select the new name given to the President.
They explained that Walking Eagle is the name given to a bird so full of shit it can no longer fly.
Analysis: I suppose the reason some folks are reacting to this obvious joke as though it might be true instead of sharing a chuckle over the punchline is that the set-up in the version above is so lengthy and deadpan. The simple fact is, President Bush has neither attended any American Indian Nation gatherings recently nor been christened with the special Indian name "Walking Eagle" by tribal elders.
One reason we can be certain of this is because a variant of the same joke circulated during the 2004 presidential race with Democratic contender Senator John Kerry as the butt of it:
Email example contributed by Joy W., June 23, 2004:
Subject: "Running Eagle"
During a campaign tour of the Apache Nation Wednesday, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said he had a plan to increase every Native American's income by $40,000 a year. Senator Kerry refused repeated requests for details of his plan, however. He also told the Apaches that during his Senate career, he has voted YES 9,637 for every Indian issue ever introduced.
Before his departure, the Apache Tribe presented the Presidential candidate a plaque inscribed with his new Indian name, Running Eagle.
After Kerry left, tribal officials explained that Running Eagle is a bird so full of shit it can't fly.
You will note that while Bush was supposedly given the name "Walking Eagle" in the 2005 variant, Kerry was dubbed "Running Eagle" in the one above. There's no clear reason for the change apart from the emergence of a transitional version dated September 2004 in which Kerry's alleged Indian name unaccountable becomes "Walking Eagle":
Email example contributed by Gloria H., Sep. 28, 2004:
Subject: Walking Eagle
During a recent campaign tour of the Apache Nation, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said he had a plan to increase every Native American's income by $40,000 a year. Senator Kerry refused repeated requests for details of his plan. However, he also told the Apaches that during his Senate career, he has voted YES, 9,637 times... for every Indian issue ever introduced.
Before his departure, the Apache Tribe presented the Presidential candidate a plaque inscribed with his new Indian name, "Walking Eagle".
After Kerry left, tribal officials explained that "Walking Eagle" is a bird so full of s--- it can't fly.
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Last updated: 03/03/05