The joint press conference between Gordon Brown and Barack Obama this morning was surely an Anglo American G-20 love fest. I woke up early and turned on the TV to watch it live with my morning coffee for company. I must say it was a real treat. The decor was all simple but elegant podia and entwined Stars and Stripes and Union Jacks. The mood was definitely one of bohhomie; the feeling one of optimism.
It wasn't " President Obama" and "Prime Minister Brown". It was "Barack" and "Gordon" with lots of smiles and personal references from both men. There were no awkward pauses and no mangled grammar or Texas twang. The back and fourth went smoothly. Questions were incisive and were answered or parried with aplomb. What a refreshing change from the last Administration.
Prime Minister Brown was positively purring. President Obama, in spite of a head cold, told the Brits exactly what they like to hear from us-- i.e. how much we owe to Great Britain and how special our relationship is and how we will all get out of this if we just work together as a team. I have to say that personally, I found it a wonderful change from the swashbuckling Texan idiocy of our last President. I breathed a sigh of relief as my coffee began to unfreeze my sleepy brain and thought about how important setting the right emotional tone is to any negotiation. I think we might really get somewhere with this guy.
I know there are thousands of protesters choking the streets of London as I write and gearing up to do their thing. I know that there is dissention in the EU. I know that China is the great unkown. But I don't think it matters. If the mood of this opening press conference can be maintained, the leaders just may be able to get something done. I hope so anyway.
Rule Britannia and God Bless America. The relationship really is special after all.