01 September 2009

More on Obama’s “substance” and “sizzle”

As an old boss once said, “Have a good trip and don't go native”.  How true.  Rachel Sylvester should have been told the same before she decided to holiday in the States this summer:

On holiday on Long Island this summer, I was struck by the anti-British mood. There are T-shirts for sale in New York with the slogan “Britain’s not that great” printed next to pictures of a helmeted policeman and Big Ben. “Your country is just a dipshit little nation,” an influential celebrity agent told me over dinner in the Monkey Bar (the fashionable Manhattan restaurant that is part owned by the British restaurateur Jeremy King). “It’s got no power or influence any more. I bet only 5 per cent of the people in this room have even heard of Gordon Brown.

Balance she does not do well.  Yes, the special relationship is no doubt under strain following the release of Megrahi.  The marriage is going through a bad patch.  It will endure.

Having an unusually bad day, Rachel repeats the “substance” and “sizzle” nonsense as first reported, with no objectively whatsoever, by James Macintyre.  This time, Obama’s comments were allegedly made on the plane home:

As Barack Obama flew home after his first visit to London as President earlier this year, he gave aides his verdict on the three leaders he had met. David Cameron had “sizzle”, Mr Brown had “substance” but only Tony Blair had “sizzle and substance”

Rachel, obviously not long back from her trip, should have done a little catching-up before she hit the keyboard.  On her must-read-before-I-type list should have been this from Irwin Stelzer, someone rather more tuned in with what is happening on both sides of the pond than our just-back-from holiday columnist.

Well, at least Rachel didn't write about the PM4PM campaign.  As discussed, this and “sizzle and substance” were just as silly as each other.

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