Lise Hand: Brian stays on script as Joe becomes the gaffer
BRIAN Cowen was having a quiet conniption in the White House. He was standing onstage in front of a large crowd in the Roosevelt Room, listening to President Obama's witty speech, and he couldn't find his own script.
It was obvious that the spectre of last year was in his mind. Last Paddy's Day, he was a couple of sentences into his remarks at the evening reception hosted by the Obamas when he realised that he was reading the US president's just-delivered speech.
But this time, after a flurry of semaphore with one of his staff, the penny dropped that his notes were safely awaiting him on the podium; relief all around. And when it came to his turn, he prefaced his address by confiding, "I made one solemn promise to myself when I've come to the White House for the second time: I intend reading my own speech tonight," he vowed.