If President Obama can’t even handle a well-planned, traditional diplomatic visit from one of America’s oldest allies, I shudder to think how he’s going to handle some of the less-friendly, or even outright hostile, heads of state he’s going to have to meet with in the next four years.
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.
Great. Perhaps he and his staff should have studied up some on how to treat a foreign dignitary. Maybe someone should publish an edition of “Presidential Behavior for Dummies” or something. Oh wait…
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.
Yes, but isn’t that why so many people voted for Pres. Obama in the first place, so that he might repair America’s tarnished image around the world? I don’t think that flipping the bird, diplomatically speaking, to the British Prime Minister is a good way to start.
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”.
So I guess we’re screwed if the President ever really does get one of those 3 a.m. phone calls.
The real views of many in Obama administration were laid bare by a State Department official involved in planning the Brown visit, who reacted with fury when questioned by The Sunday Telegraph about why the event was so low-key.
The official dismissed any notion of the special relationship, saying: “There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment.”
Wow, there’s diplomacy in action for you! Blame the visitor of having unrealistic expectations, and then compare his country to every other country in the world, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, and North Korea.
The fact is, eveyone in America and Britain knows that the two countries do share a special relationship; heck even Hillary Clinton mentioned it in her meeting with her British counterpart, Foreign Secretary David Miliband, in early February. Perhaps President Obama should listen to his Secretary of State a little more closely.
…The Democratic strategist stressed that Mr Obama’s plight was nothing new. “He knew it was going to be tough; he said as much throughout the campaign. But there’s a difference between knowing it is going to be tough and facing the sheer relentless pressure of it all.”
While President Obama may have wanted to consider this BEFORE running, he clearly thought this job was going to be a breeze. It’s sad that anyone with half an ounce of intelligence knows that it’s probably the hardest job in the world.
Perhaps we should all just leave the poor man alone and let him eat his waffles. It seems to be about all he’s good for these days.