|03-09-2009, 06:58 PM||#1|
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State Department Official: "There's Nothing Special About Britain"
At first, I thought this was a joke. And then I read that as of late, Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, haven't had the best of appointments. The U.S. should keep Britain the closest ally. This isn't the beginning of the article so you may want to click the link to read it.
But they concede that the mood music of the event was at times strained. Mr Brown handed over carefully selected gifts, including a pen holder made from the wood of a warship that helped stamp out the slave trade - a sister ship of the vessel from which timbers were taken to build Mr Obama's Oval Office desk. Mr Obama's gift in return, a collection of Hollywood film DVDs that could have been bought from any high street store, looked like the kind of thing the White House might hand out to the visiting head of a minor African state.
Mr Obama rang Mr Brown as he flew home, in what many suspected was an attempt to make amends.
The real views of many in Obama administration were laid bare by a State Department official involved in planning the Brown visit, who reacted with fury when questioned by The Sunday Telegraph about why the event was so low-key.
The official dismissed any notion of the special relationship, saying: "There's nothing special about Britain. You're just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn't expect special treatment." The apparent lack of attention to detail by the Obama administration is indicative of what many believe to be Mr Obama's determination to do too much too quickly.
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