President Bush, so far, insists that he will not boycott the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Beijing this summer – perhaps his last high-profile foreign visit as Leader of the Free World (sic). Lest anyone assume a high-minded objective behind his decision (e.g., important bi-lateral relationship with major sovereign nation, opportunity to practice effective, quiet diplomacy to nudge China’s thuggish leaders towards democracy, etc), I’ll wager that the real reason is gold. Specifically, “fillin’ up the old coffers”, as W so memorably commented when asked what his post-presidential plans were. So, how does the Beijing trek fit into this scheme? Within a year of his leaving the White House, I predict George W. Bush will have in hand a $1MM annual retainer from the People’s Republic of China to carry their water as a lobbyist. For sure he ain’t likely to secure that kind of lucre from public speaking engagements (really, can you imagine anyone PAYING to listen to him, after suffering through his mangled syntax for 8 years?). You heard it first here at Rantcaster. Watch this space for more on W’s China gambit.