Globe-Trotting Lame-Duck President

President Bush will not sit home his final year in office.

While the presidential campaign of 2008 sweeps across the country, the lame-duck two-termer is scheduling an exhausting year of focus on international relations and foreign travel that will keep him out of the country.

Some trips are built-in obligations. In April, a NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania, is in ink on the calendar.

July 7 brings the annual G8 Summit in a rare Asian venue: a spa in northern Japan on the island of Hokkaido.

The Pacific economic conference known as APEC is in South America in November. That's summertime in Lima, Peru. Unfortunately, the next hemispheric Summit of the Americas in Trinidad doesn't happen until 2009.

In addition, Bush just announced this week he will definitely attend the Beijing Olympics at some point in August as the two political parties back home prepare for their nominating conventions.

He has also invited foreign guests to his Texas ranch before he retires there. Heads of state from the 10-member ASEAN, the Southeast Asian partners are invited, although Burma is in the political doghouse on human rights, so put them down as a "maybe."

Add to all this the likelihood Bush will want to reciprocate on the hospitality he's given some of his new friends in Europe such as the French president and his desire to see Africa again. He could always visit Iraq and Afghanistan if conditions there show improvement. He's overdue for a major tour of the troubled Middle East.

In 2008, Bush could very well log more frequent-flier miles on Air Force One than any other year of his presidency.

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