Today’s meeting between President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron marks that latest chapter in the White House “Be Nice to Allies” public relations campaign.
Obama, who started his presidency doing fist bumps with the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, has decided he needs to show the love for America’s ACTUAL FRIENDS.
So expect as much chuminess from Obama and Cameron as possible, even though the Brits are made as Hell at Obama for calling BP “British Petroleum.” The meeting follows by a couple of weeks Obama’s patch up with Israeli PM Netanyahu, at the end of which Obama was seen plaintively bidding adieu to the previously detested Bibi while the Israeli motorcade exited the White House.
However well stage managed this will be, gone are the days, it seems, when the Special Relationship with Britain was embodied by genuine affection between its leaders.
JFK consulted closely with British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan, looking to him as a kind of mentor as Kennedy got the hang of being a world leader.
Thatcher and Reagan strode the earth together like giants, whipping Communism and getting their economies back on track. H.W. Bush I and John Major put Saddam Hussein back in his box in the first Gulf War. Tony Blair came to Washington and comforted Clinton as Monicagate blew up. And W. Bush developed and even warmer relationship with his British Blair, as the two held hands and started wars together all over the globe!
And what of Obama? Is he friendly with any world leader at all? I mean, did he and Medvedev really look like pals when they jumped into the limo together and headed to Ray’s Hell Burgers? Medvedev looked as stiff as the ketchup bottle. Would Obama even try to give Angela Merkel a back rub, à la Bush? No way.
So don’t be fooled when Cameron and Obama yuk it up and pretend they’re planning on vacationing together in the Maldives. They probably hate each other. And Cameron’s probably making nice just to spite Sarkozy, who genuinely doesn’t like Obama.
Here’s a nice video to remind you of the chummier days of yesteryear.