Friday, March 06, 2009

Has Obama Snubbed Brown For The Queen?

Obama has finally agreed to grace this country with his presence but only after he was promised a cup of tea and a chat with the Queen, leaving Brown a back-stage bit-player. Brown or Her Maj? A hard call. There's something fishy about the whole thing. 


Right up until the last minute the White House had been tight-lipped about whether Obama would even bother to turn up for the G20 London summit next month but now it seems a visit has been set-up and dutifully leaked to the press. 

But it is the two heads of state who will take centre stage and capture the global media coverage, leaving Brown a two-bit back-stage bit-player as the Obama drama unfolds.

Brown and Downing Street are obsessed and pinning their election hope on Obama's presence at the G20 London summit in a couple of weeks time. But even while Brown was being snubbed by Obama in Washington, officials would only confirm that the president's treasury secretary would attend G20. 

Now all that has suddenly changed. In a highly unusual move which goes against all protocol, the Queen is to give Obama a private “getting-to-know-you” audience. 

But this is the president of the United States yet Obama will not be on a State visit. If he was, then Buckingham Palace and Downing Street would have to pull out all the stops, the Cinderella carriage, State banquet, the royal works. 

One of those 'sources' has justified the odd arrangements for the odd couple: “There is a wish to do these things as discreetly as possible in the first instance.”

Discreet? This thing will go global, man. 

Air Force One, with the president and first laydee Michelle is due to touch down at Stansted, neatly avoiding massive Heathrow disruption and those pesky protesters. 

Then it's all aboard Marine Force One, to the US ambassador's pad in Regent's Park. April Fools' Day will see Obama travel aboard Ground Force One for the short hop to Buckingham Palace for that private chat. 

A quick how do you do at Brown's summit then the real work when the president flies off for a crucial meeting of Nato leaders in Strasbourg.

The White House and Obama were very careful, not to give Brown the full-blown podium treatment on his hyped-up tour, conscious of the fact that this was the blatant electioneering of a dead duck prime minister. 

Instead Brown has to make do with a quick and hurriedly arranged frosty photo-op. 

The White House had little interest in making a big deal of Brown's visit. Obama is a ruthless Chicago politician used to cutting deals in the Windy City, with an eye on the chance. Unlike his meetings with Blair, there was very little media mileage in getting all cosy with Brown. 

And that was probably true for the G20 London summit where Obama was in danger of being swamped in a sea of world leaders all trying to get attention on the world stage. 

The trade-off for a visit was a meeting with Her Maj which will get blanket media coverage on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Like the Washington meeting, this has all the hallmarks of a hastily arranged trip. But despite publicly playing down the visit, the Palace will roll out the red carpet for the first meeting between the head of state and the US President.

Brown was hoping some of the Obama shine and magic would rub off on him and the president's visit was supposed to be the crowning glory to boost his abyssal popularity ahead of the election. 

Now he's reduced to being a back-stage back-seat bit-player, as Obama rains on his parade and two hugely popular heads of state, on both sides of the Atlantic, take centre stage and Obama basks in the full-blown glare of the media attention. 

The Orange Party has pointed out before that when it comes to the US, Brown and Downing Street really do not get it. This is show business.

2 comments:

Oldrightie said...

Tea at the Palace in luxurious surroundings and one of the most experienced women on the planet. Or a poky old terrace, filthy and scaffolded, suffering from 12 years of socialist decay. No brainer as they say!

The Intellectual Redneck said...

Does Obama dislike the British? The answer seems to be-Yes. He really dissed the British Prime Minister. That could not have been an accident. He has too amny diplomatic advisors for that to occur. Read more here.
Does Obama dislike the British?