WASHINGTON – The White House has put out word daily of calls flooding in from around the world to congratulate President Bush (search) on his re-election victory. But somehow, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (search) just hasn't been able to get his call past the switchboard.
Zapatero phoned Bush not long after his Nov. 2 win, but wasn't put through to the president. Now, more than a week after the voting, the two leaders still have not hooked up.
The White House explanation signaled something of a cold shoulder toward the Spanish leader, who angered the administration by withdrawing troops from Iraq just after taking office in April.
"I think that may be the case, that he has tried to reach out," Bush press secretary Scott McClellan said Wednesday. "Calls are scheduled at times that are mutually convenient. Some calls are able to be scheduled quicker than others."
Meanwhile, Bush met privately on Tuesday at the White House with Spain's former prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar (search), who was a chief Bush ally in the war in Iraq.