So it is now time in Obama's young presidency to welcome the United States greatest ally - Great Britain. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife come across the pond to meet the new leader they had heard so much about, and in which, Europe apparently sponsored for much of his election.
But unlike the response usually garnered by the Great Britain PM's first meeting with a new President there was no grand press conference with flags of both countries waving, no White House Dinner - just a lack luster Oval Office meet and greet which saw Obama tired and out of touch - and an address to Congress which was not telelvised or even covered by any of our 24/7 around the clock press.
But what really was alarming about the juxtaposition of an outgoing administration, that really knew foreign policy, and this new administration, that I am sure have trouble picking out Kansas on the map, was the exchange of ceremonial gifts. Gordon Brown had spend considerable time in crafting a pen and pencil set and other gifts out of timber from a 19th century British vessel that purportedly transported slaves. He also brought a 7-volume biography of Winston Churchill with him.
But, of course, we now understand that Obama has no use for Churchill at all. In one of his first executive actions after taking office he had the bust of Churchill that was given to Bush by Great Britain after 9/11 sent back to GB. Actually sent it back! And this is the man who is to somehow repair our purported damaged relations with nations?
So Obama follows this up with a great gift to the Prime Minister - 25 DVD's of America's greatest films (and the the US DVD format doesn't even work in GB). Might as well have given the guy a t-shirt. See here.
This frankly is boorish behavior that trumps any slight that any liberal can even attest to Bush. And the British press is up in arms. See here.
And now the White House response to this uproar (that somehow caught them blindsided) is that the poor President is just too tired nowadays with this economic stuff and being Pres and all. Seriously - this is what they told the Brits. And apparently this is all being also supported by a nameless source who says "he is just overwhelmed with the work that comes across the table. He never knew the amount of work that would be there - and the flaw in his character that I see is that he thinks he can manage that and do all of the other things". See here.