Cameron and Obama: No 'bromance' here
President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron at a state welcoming ceremony at the White House.
March 14th, 2012
03:24 PM ET

Cameron and Obama: No 'bromance' here

Editor's note: Timothy Stanley is a historian at Oxford University and blogs for The Daily Telegraph. He is the author of the new book"The Crusader: The Life and Times of Pat Buchanan."

By Timothy Stanley – Special to CNN

As a Brit living in America, I remember the Blair/Bush "special relationship" of the early 2000s with great fondness. It seemed that our two countries might remake the world. With Britain providing the vision and America the military muscle, a liberal axis would flex its way through the War on Terror. The U.K. hadn't had such a sense of purpose since the Second World War.

This week, Prime Minister David Cameron arrived in the United States with the express ambition of reviving what he and President Barack Obama now call "an essential relationship." So far the meeting has been cordial. Aside from agreeing to the need to draw down Western forces in Afghanistan, Cameron did his best to look interested in a basketball game in Ohio. He admitted afterward that he didn't have a clue what was going on and promised to explain cricket to Obama. Actually, cricket is very simple: Whoever doesn't fall asleep wins.

Nonetheless, there is an air of anxiety about the visit. While Britain is still broadly committed to the neoconservative vision of George Bush and Tony Blair, Obama is not. The tensions between the two countries have been exacerbated by a British suspicion that Obama simply doesn't like us, that his coolness betrays a mild contempt for us and our utopian visions.

Before Cameron's plane landed, his views on the special relationship were laid out in an interview he gave to the historian Niall Ferguson in Newsweek.

"The only clue that Cameron is to the manner born," Ferguson writes, "is the seemingly effortless way he shoulders the burdens of power. He must be the first prime minister in history to look younger after nearly two years in office." Although the comparisons to Winston Churchill are absurdly overblown, Ferguson is right that Cameron certainly shares some of Winnie's worldview.

"Like Tony Blair, (Cameron) is drawn to the idea of military intervention where human rights as well as national interest are at stake. It was he, not President Obama, who pressed for military intervention in Libya last year." Cameron tells his admiring interviewer that he is on his way to America to push the case for action in Syria. "'My impulse is that I want us to do more,' he says emphatically." That's probably the moment in the interview when Niall swooned.

Read on here.


soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Dick Santorum

    Britain has a vision for the world ? You mean the tiny island on the Atlantic has a vision for the world? Its so laughable the Brits even fancy that a country ten times bigger than themselves on every possible scale : economy, military, industry has to treat them as an equal partner. Now this is not the 18th or 19th century when you had a vision and robbed the world by illegally colonizing the world.
    America is not your muscle man to do your bidding leave alone sucking up to you. If anything it ought to be the other way like it is right now and will always be. Your glory days are over and the UK will forever remain the tiny island that has to say Yes to America on everything.
    The only thing you got somewhat right was "The U.K. hadn't had such a sense of purpose since the Second World War." Make that – The U.K. hasn't had a sense of purpose since the Second World War.

    March 16, 2012 at 10:55 am | Reply
  2. 1ofTheFallen

    I cannot say enough good things about our British Brothers. They have our back and we should always have theirs. They are tried and true friends and allies.

    Obama's contempt of the British can be understood if you read "Dreams of my Father". Obama's fathers hatred of the British because of the power that the British had in African Colonies has warped Obama and undermined our most relationship with our Brirish allies.

    Obama should have never been elected because of his hatred of the British. Obama's fondness of the Reverend Wright should have been a major clue to all Americans. Obama should not be allowed to continue to damage this very important relationship with our British Brothers and the same things can also be said for our relationship with Israel.

    March 16, 2012 at 10:58 am | Reply
    • Dick Santorum

      So you're probably one of the red neck living in the Midwest who thinks its cool to have colonized Africa and Asia in the past with no sense of regret or shame whatsoever.

      March 16, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
  3. 1ofTheFallen

    Being articulate or progressive does not make you a good president. Many of the worlds dictators our CULT leaders have had the very same thing said about them. Being a good president means making good decisions. Obama has not done this. Obama has tripled the US debt. Obama has added additional unsustainable debt loads in the future. Obama has been devisive both to the American people and to our American allies.

    16 vacations in 3 years (Aspen, Vail, Martha's Vinyard, Maine, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon). $10 million US tax dollars spent on vacations in 2010. Played more golf and basketball than any president. $600 tennis shoes a Food Bank. WHO IS THE REAL 1%er?

    March 16, 2012 at 11:07 am | Reply
  4. Joey Tranchina

    Tony Blair was the most talented and therefore the most disappointing politician in modern European history.
    David Cameron is less disappointing because no one expected much of him, in the first place.

    March 16, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Reply
  5. father

    It's truly a nice and useful piece of information. I'm happy that you shared this useful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

    April 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Reply
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