Hosni Mubarak sure has the capacity to turn an Egyptian smile upside down.
Protesters were shoehorned like sardines into Cairo’s central Tahrir Square today expecting to hear Mubarak announce his resignation outright.
However, Mubarak, stubborn as a two-year-old, threw them a Sandy Koufax-vintage curveball.
Mubarak announced he is handing his powers over to his vice president, Omar Suleiman, and ordered constitutional amendments. But the move means he retains his title of president and ensures regime control over the reform process, falling short of protester demands while signaling his clout now is threadbare.
Protesters watched in stunned silence to his speech, slapping their hands to their foreheads in anger, some crying or waving their shoes in the air in a sign of contempt. After he finished, they resumed their chants of “Leave! Leave! Leave!”
Mubarak apparently intends to remain hunkered down, not ready to put himself through a public strip search.
At least until, to continue the baseball analogy now that spring training is nigh, they throw the bum out.