The British press appears to have fallen out of love with the Obamas. First, Mr. Obama returned the bust of Winston Churchill that was given to President Bush after 9/11. The treatment of Gordon Brown, England's Prime Minister who visited DC earlier this week, was rather shabby, as the British press reported:
"...We get the point, sunshine: we're just one of many allies and you want fancy new friends. Well, the next time you need something doing, something which impinges on your national security, then try calling the French, or the Japanese, or best of all the Germans. The French will be able to offer you first rate support from their catering corps but beyond that you'll be on your own."
The Obamas gave some seriously lame gifts to PM Brown and his wife. Here's what the Browns gave to the Obamas:
"Mr Brown also handed over a framed commission for HMS Resolute and a first edition of the seven-volume biography of Churchill by Sir Martin Gilbert."
"In addition, Mr Brown and his wife showered gifts on the Obama children giving Sasha and Malia an outfit each from Topshop and six children's books by British authors which are shortly to be published in America."
Thoughtful, unique and historically significant gifts. And what did the Obamas give in return? A 25-CD collection of classic American movies and two models of the presidential helicopter for their two sons. Cheesy! As an American, I'm embarrassed! British columnist Sarah Vine was ticked:
"Not only did she demonstrate that she spent approximately three seconds contemplating the needs of the Brown boys (having an aide pop to the White House gift shop for a piece of merchandising does not imply a great deal of thought), she appeared to show a most uncharacteristic lapse of judgment."
I'm not sure why Vine thinks this is an "uncharacteristic" lapse of judgment. Columnist James Delingpole asks "Was "Lady MacBeth" was behind Barack Obama's snub of Gordon Brown?"
"What was the guy thinking? In researching my new book Welcome to Obamaland, I discovered that Obama's judgment is pretty dreadful - but this? My favourite theory so far - suggested by presenter Greg Garrison - was that it was a move calculated to please his Lady Macbeth..."
"We may just LURVE Michelle's fashion sense. But Michelle doesn't reciprocate our affection, one bit. Her broad-brush view of history associates Brits with the wicked white global hegemony responsible for the slave trade. Never mind that a white, Tory Englishman - William Wilberforce - brought the slave trade to an end. Judging by her record, Michelle does not make room for such subtle nuance."
A good comment from that article:
I guess we won't be seeing a close American/British relationship along the line of Reagan/Thatcher or Bush/Blair anytime soon.