Andrew Grice: They had a mutual interest in making trip work – and it did

 

Share
Related Topics

They don't need to act; the bonhomie is real," one British minister said, reflecting on David Cameron's bonding with Barack Obama as his three-day visit to the United States ended last night.

The Prime Minister and his team were surprised that the red carpet was rolled out for an extra mile. It seems the US President was very moved by the reception he received in London last May – not least from the Queen – and wanted to return the favour.

On the face of it, the PM and president make an odd political couple. But they had a mutual interest in ensuring the trip was a success. It suited a president described by his critics as the most left-wing one in modern times, to be best pals with a Conservative leader as he prepares to seek re-election. It did Mr Cameron no harm to be seen on the world stage being feted by its most powerful leader.

Relations between the US Democratic Party and the Conservatives were in the deep freeze in the 1990s but those tensions are now forgotten. Mr Cameron's socially liberal views have more in common with the Democrats on issues like gay marriage than a right-wing Republican movement.

Right-leaning Tories keep lines open; Liam Fox has been helping Mitt Romney's bid to win the Republican presidential nomination after resigning as Defence Secretary last October. But it was significant that Mr Cameron avoided meeting any of the Republican hopefuls.

Mr Cameron has always tried to play down the "special relationship", believing his two Labour predecessors spent far too much time fretting about it. Yet this week's visit showed it is still special, not least because of the unique military and intelligence links. Mr Obama said Mr Cameron was "just the kind of partner that you want at your side," adding: "I trust him."

The two leaders are on the same page on withdrawing from Afghanistan and discussed how to stay there. "We don't have a veto on the US pull-out but we have asked them for no surprises," said a British source. They will hope to remain in tune on Syria and Iran, though an Israeli strike on the latter could provoke a different split for Mr Cameron – with his Liberal Democrat Coalition partners.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Network Infrastructure Technical Lead - up to £45k DOE - Surrey

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Technical Architect - Surrey - £35k-£45k DOE - Permanent

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Year 3 Teachers needed for supply roles

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...

Year 4 Teachers needed for supply roles

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...

Day In a Page

 

The Scottish people deserve the truth about North Sea oil and gas

Oliver Courtney
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week