Obama Botches Meeting with British PM
Our new President ran for office on a promise to use the power of diplomacy much more effectively than George Bush; indeed, he seems to believe diplomacy alone can solve almost any problem, from the Taliban to Iran’s nuclear program.
So what does it portend that his first major diplomatic visit by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was so ineptly handled it nearly caused an international incident? Barack Obama ‘too tired’ to give proper welcome to Gordon Brown.
Sources close to the White House say Mr Obama and his staff have been “overwhelmed” by the economic meltdown and have voiced concerns that the new president is not getting enough rest.
British officials, meanwhile, admit that the White House and US State Department staff were utterly bemused by complaints that the Prime Minister should have been granted full-blown press conference and a formal dinner, as has been customary. They concede that Obama aides seemed unfamiliar with the expectations that surround a major visit by a British prime minister.
But Washington figures with access to Mr Obama’s inner circle explained the slight by saying that those high up in the administration have had little time to deal with international matters, let alone the diplomatic niceties of the special relationship.
Allies of Mr Obama say his weary appearance in the Oval Office with Mr Brown illustrates the strain he is now under, and the president’s surprise at the sheer volume of business that crosses his desk.
A well-connected Washington figure, who is close to members of Mr Obama’s inner circle, expressed concern that Mr Obama had failed so far to “even fake an interest in foreign policy”.
Lovely. And of course, our feckless, in-the-tank media are doing their best to ignore the whole thing: Obama’s British ‘Gift Gaffe’ Not Reported By U.S. Media.