There was considerable interest both in the "Yo, Blair" phrase itself and in the ensuing impromptu conversation (known as the "Yo Blair text") which, supposedly private, was in fact picked up by a microphone. In the course of the exchange, Bush, among other things, thanked Blair for the gift of a sweater and, more importantly, referred to an armed conflict that had just broken out in Lebanon between Israeli forces and the Shi'a group Hezbollah ("What they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit").
When Blair rose to make a statement in the House of Commons on 19 July 2006, he was greeted with cries from the Opposition benches of "Yo!". A cartoon by Gerald Scarfe in The Sunday Times showed Bush in a rocking chair, dressed as a sheriff, directing his Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, "Yo, Condi. Better go check out that sh*t [sic]. Don't hurry".
"Yo George", the highly political first track on Tori Amos' 2007 album American Doll Posse, is a direct reference to the "Yo, Blair" incident.
Former British Government Minister Denis MacShane observed that "Yo, Blair" was the American equivalent of "wotcher, mate" and that metaphorically Bush and Blair had been addressing each other using the French informal tu ("you") (as opposed to the more formal vous).
Following a meeting in Washington between Bush and Blair on 28 July to discuss the situation in Lebanon, cartoonist for The Times Neil Bennett, depicted, above the caption, "Gifts were exchanged before the Washington summit", a Burberry bag (an allusion to "Yo Blair") being swapped for a tin of dog food marked "Pedigree Chum". This was a reference to the charge of some that Blair had been acting as America's "poodle" (a metaphor which, though widely used towards the end of July 2006, dated back to 1907 when David Lloyd George referred to the British House of Lords as "Mr Balfour's Poodle" ). In May 2007 Bush denied that Blair was his "poodle", but remarked on his "dogged" style of leadership.
On Monday July 7th 2008 at the 34th annual G8 summit in Toyako, Japan, while speaking with Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua, Bush summoned Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper with a brusque "Yo Harper!" Much like in the UK, political and public reaction has been divided between this being an indication of the close relationship between the two, the subservience of Harper or simply another example of the "folksy" disposition of Bush.
Yo,Blair.How Are Ya Doing? Caught on Air (and with a Mouthful of Buttered Roll), Bush Offers PM His Views on the Middle East Crisis
Jul 18, 2006; Byline: MICHAEL IT WAS a conversation they never intended the world to hear. But the lunchtime chat between George Bush and Tony...
The Yo-Yo Relationship ; Just Who Is Puling Whose Strings Was Revealed in the Openmic Exchange between 'Yo Blair' and Bush. Our Man in the White House Tells the Inside Story Special Report: Britain and the US
Jul 23, 2006; Over the years the symbols and settings have changed - from tubes of Colgate toothpaste to an offhanded "Yo, Blair" on an...