British Columnist: Obama A Disappointing Bore
(DAILY MAIL) Oh Gordon, your smile! The Prime Minister, appearing alongside Barack Obama after breakfast today, stared at his American visitor and almost shattered the TV camera lenses with his moony grin.
You could have played Jewish harp with his lower lip, it was stretched so twangy tight.
Messrs Mills and Boon, when next looking for a book cover for one of their romantic novellas, when next seeking an illustration of doggy devotion, could do worse than use a photograph of the Prime Minister at the meeting.
Mr Obama uttered a sentence. Mr Brown nodded. Mr Obama paused. Mr Brown froze, frowning. Mr Obama made a very slight joke.
Mr Brown gassed himself, laughing for a good 30 seconds, eyelids fluttering like the wings of a soft-flapping Cabbage White.
EDITORS NOTE: WE NEED THIS GUY TO DO SOME BROADCASTING AND REPORTING HERE IN THE STATES
Allegedly the most charismatic politician in the world, Mr Obama was a disappointment. It sounded as though he had a blocked nose and so his lack of energy may have been a symptom of a cold. Jet lag, too. He probably wished he could have stayed in bed.
Then there were the bodyguards. The US of A guys have buttons in their lapels and scowl at the world in a quite unnecessary fashion. One is tempted to go up to them and tickle their armpits, just to see if they might smile.
Mr Obama fiddled with the cuff of one sleeve, Prince Charles-style, while Mr Brown hosed him down with treacle. The Prime Minister, fluffing with nerves in a couple of places, spoke of the president’s ‘leadership, vision, courage, dynamism, energy, achievements…’
He spoke slowly, in a meandering manner. Some might say that he was thoughtful and professorial. Others might call his manner circuitous, even yarny.
Am I saying that he was a bore? Oh dear. I find that I possibly am.
But in a good way, arguably. He came across as a president who would consult and think thrice before bombing the smithereens out of a foreign capital.
This, comrades, can be counted progress.
The usual goons were in attendance. What a kerfuffle an American presidential creates.
Outside, in the road off Whitehall and in the great court of the Foreign Office, I counted 24 Range Rovers, all of them pretty brand spanking new.
Before Messrs Brown and Obama entered the room where we had been cooped up for two hours, flunkeys and bit-part players came slinking in, David Miliband and Hillary Clinton among them.
What an odd duo Mrs Clinton and the boy Milipede make. She looks like a mother taking her teenage son round a university campus on Open Day.
On and on it went. Stop, man! But he would not. ‘A partnership of purpose, resilient, constant.’ We were in total love mode. For his part, Mr Obama stared at Mr Brown with two weary, slightly glazed eyes, his mouth agape.
When Mr Brown let him get a word in, it was ‘Gordon’ this and ‘Gordon’ that.
Mr Brown had by now turned his profile to us and it meant we could see the silhouette of his pouchy-cheeked, greedy grin.
His lips puckered, forming the shape of a robin’s beak, and he nodded slowly, repeatedly, at times even swallowing, so much was he salivating.
When he turned back to face us his eyes were narrow with creamy pleasure and he pushed forth his chin, stretching his lower neck.
Now he placed his hands behind his back and bounced a half inch or so on the balls of his feet, relishing the sound of Solomon Obama’s replies to a few questions from the Press.
Those replies were, as I say, on the chewy side and came out at the speed of an action replay on Match of the Day.
So slow, in fact, that at one point a man from the Guardian dropped his tape recorder on the floor. Mr Obama’s best moment was when he was charming about the Queen.
Our old donkey Gordon, by comparison to this American visitor, was for once Mr Eloquent, Mr Quick-Off-The-Mark.
Mr Obama had managed to make Mr Brown look good. Another amazing achievement.
They left with Mr Obama snaking an arm round his host’s shoulder and ushering him from the room. Very much an ‘I’m in charge’ gesture.