The photo points to a double fail: Gordon Brown’s for tucking his trousers into his socks (inexplicably, since he didn’t ride his bike to the White House), and the US State Department’s Chief of Protocol’s, who apparently was too polite to point out to Gordon about his fashion statement.
At least he managed to untuck by the time the press conference started:
The trip, which was intended to boost Gordon Brown’s domestic and international standing by urging Anglo-American leadership to right the global economy (admittedly a very costly proposition) was a flop. Aside from showing up with a 7-volume bio of Churchill to gift Obama – who had just sent Churchill packing last month – and knighting Ted Kennedy,
- Brown didn’t get the commitment he sought from the Obama administration,
- the British media correctly assessed the White House’s treatment of Brown as rude,
- the White House turned down requests for the flags and lectern treatment that was standard for visits by the British Prime Minister, a highly symbolic affront,
- Mrs. Obama snubbed Mrs. Brown, who had personally chosen thoughtful gifts for the Obama daughters.
Yes, the plan Brown read out to Congress would not be in America’s best interest. Yes, Brown made a mistake in thiking that he could get a boost by coming to the US. Brown was clueless from the get-go. He made the kind of errors that make anyone look like a dufus. This series of mistakes might end up giving his chances at home a final fatal blow, no matter how much money he prints at home.
However, the horrible treatment at the hands of the White House signals a turnaround in the US’s alliance with England.
This is a colossal error by the Obama administration:
When His Lordship [Lord Monckton] finished analyzing the Obama-Brown summit, I asked him just what the meeting and the maintenance of the “special relationship” would cost. If people in the U.S. aren’t careful, he replied without hesitation, “it will cost America its leadership of the free world.”
If Obama thinks he can count on the support of the French and the Germans, he’s in for a rude surprise.
Second round: the April’s G20 meeting in London.
Moe Lane looks at “special relationship” (old formulation) and “special partnership” (new formulation), and people who are unfortunately aware of their intelligence.
Larwyn’s on top of the story and sent these links,
Beware Obama’s Bearing Gifts (Part 2)
Obama the Cheapskate: 25 DVDs for Gordon Brown? A particularly crass gift, considering that Gordon Brown doesn’t have much time to watch movies and can’t play American DVDs on British players. There are signs at Heathrow telling you that – but then, Obama doesn’t fly commercial, doesn’t he?
Movies in the box-set produced for the White House by the American Film Institute:
1. Citizen Kane
2. The Godfather
4. Raging Bull
5. Singing In The Rain
6. Gone With The Wind
7. Lawrence Of Arabia
8. Schindler’s List
10. The Wizard Of Oz
11. City Lights
12. The Searchers
13. Star Wars: Episode IV
15. 2001: A Space Odyssey
16. Sunset Boulevard
17. The Graduate
18. The General
19. On The waterfront
20. It’s A Wonderful Life
21. China Town
22. Some Like It Hot
23. The Grapes Of Wrath
24. ET: The Extra Terrestrial
25. To Kill A Mocking Bird.
Orville Reddenbacker would have done better.
Via commenter Kelsy,
UPDATE, Friday 6 February
Here’s some advice for the Browns: Next time swing by Walgreens on the way into town.
Pick up a can of assorted nuts, some Cheez Whiz and a lava lamp.