May 8, 2007


How will Brown get on with Bush? (Con Coughlin, 09/05/2007, Daily Telegraph)

When Gordon Brown finally takes up official residence at Number 10, one of his first tasks will be to arrange an official visit with the White House's current incumbent.

The ritual of newly appointed British prime ministers rushing across the Atlantic to effect a personal introduction to their opposite number is almost as well established as the short journey they make to Buckingham Palace to present their credentials to the monarch. Edward Heath was alone among Britain's post-war prime ministers in being a reluctant transatlantic traveller, preferring to indulge his fantasy of pursuing European political union at the expense of maintaining good working relations with Britain's most important strategic ally. Not surprisingly, the alliance suffered its nadir in the early 1970s, and did not properly recover until Margaret Thatcher became prime minister in 1979.

As a self-confessed admirer of all things American, Gordon Brown is unlikely to repeat the mistake. Quite apart from the fact that he likes to take his annual vacation at Cape Cod, Brown has established ties with the American political establishment, albeit of the Democrat variety. Brown was a great admirer of the slick political operation that provided Bill Clinton with two impressive presidential election victories, and key Clinton aides, such as James Carville, were deeply involved in the mid-1990s in the creation of the New Labour spin machine that brought Blair and Brown to power 10 years ago.

There is no doubt that Brown would feel more at home if the Democrats controlled the White House as well as Congress but - for the next 18 months at least - he must reconcile himself to the fact that he will be dealing with the most Right-wing, and ideologically uncompromising administration of modern times.

Except that Mr. Brown is ideologically much closer to George W. Bush than to Al Gore, John Kerry, or, as she's running now, Hillary Clinton, both in terms of Third Way domestic policy and foreign crusading..

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 8, 2007 7:54 PM

the slick political operation that provided Bill Clinton with two impressive presidential election victories

43% and 49% is impressive?

Posted by: AC at May 8, 2007 10:16 PM

It was in America.

Posted by: oj at May 9, 2007 7:05 AM