Secretary of Disco

Saturday, July 03, 2004
Colin Powell made a complete goof out of himself today at the ASEAN conference in Jakarta, where he let loose with a cringe-worthy rendition of the Village People's world famous disco classic, YMCA.

Though the sight of our Secretary of State in a yellow hard-hat gyrating his hips to the beat of a corny disco classic may be too much to bear for some, I still think he's wonderfully brave for subjecting himself to this kind of brutal public humiliation.

Powell goes disco for Asean forum

US Secretary of State Colin Powell has wowed fellow foreign ministers at an Asean security meeting, with a rousing rendition of a disco classic.
Mr Powell donned a hard hat and stuffed a hammer in his belt for the Village People's YMCA, a massive 1970s hit. He was backed by five US officials, all imitating the gaily flamboyant outfits of the original band.

Ministers regularly give their own take on classic tunes at the after-dinner show, a highlight of the annual forum.

Mr Powell and his colleagues - in costumes including those of a policeman and a native American - were happy to wind down from a hard day discussing security issues.

"President Bush, he said to me, Colin I need you to run the department of state," the secretary of state to the tune of the original. "We are between a rock and a hard place."

But Mr Powell was not the only minister vying for the audience's attention.

The Russian delegation traditionally seeks the limelight, and this time Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made waves with his version of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine.

Nor was it the first time Mr Powell has caused a sensation at the forum.

Three years ago, a skit in which he rolled around on the floor in a love duet with his then Japanese counterpart Wakiko Tanaka was universally panned, and prompted harsh words from his wife Alma.

A year later, he ran a video compilation of the world and his wife, literally, begging him not to sing again.

Now if only the whole cabinet were to hit the stage as costumed macho men, then maybe the Bush campaign would stand a chance of attracting gay voters.