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Obama’s style is anti-Bush in Europe
Question of the Day
President Obama said Wednesday he was not in London to lecture, but to listen, and his busy schedule surrounding the Group of 20 summit of world leaders offered a glimpse into the new president’s diplomatic style and goals.
Mr. Obama balanced serious discussions on nuclear proliferation and global financial solutions with jokes about Britain’s national sport - correctly calling it European football - and earned headlines for giving Queen Elizabeth II a video iPod.
His style was a stark change from that of his predecessor, George W. Bush. Mr. Obama acknowledged that the United States deserves some blame for the global financial crisis but struck a hopeful tone about ways to pull out of the recession through international cooperation.
“I came here to put forward our ideas, but I also came here to listen, and not to lecture,” Mr. Obama said at a meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the start of his first major international trip since taking office Jan. 20.
Mr. Brown, whose approval ratings have sunk while Mr. Obama has gained popularity in Europe as a symbol of change from the Bush presidency, said the new American president has given “renewed hope” to the world’s citizens.
“Thank you for your leadership, your vision and your courage, which you’ve already shown in your presidency,” he said. “Your first 70 days in office have changed America, and you’ve changed America’s relationship with the world.”
Mr. Brown softened a blow from a British journalist who was pressing Mr. Obama on whether the United States deserved international blame for the economic crisis, jokingly referring to himself and saying he was well-known for pointing fingers at “the government” until he “became the government.”
Mr. Obama said the U.S. has an inadequate regulatory system and “has some accounting to do,” but added, “I’m less interested in identifying blame than fixing the problem.”
The meetings on the first day of his tour each yielded tangible results - from nuclear proliferation agreements to setting dates to visit Russia and China later this year.
As promised, the president listened to world leaders and his team aimed to find areas where they could work together, though advisers said Mr. Obama did not avoid tough topics such as human rights.
Mr. Obama demonstrated positive assessments of his bilateral meetings. He said his talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev “present great promise.” Alongside Chinese President Hu Jintao, he proclaimed the two leaders “can work cooperatively together to improve peace and security for both nations and the world at large.”
He was greeted with encouraging remarks in return.
“Since President Obama took office, we have secured a good beginning in the growth of this relationship,” Mr. Hu said.
Mr. Medvedev said he was looking forward to hosting Mr. Obama this summer. “July is the warmest time in Russia and in Moscow, and I believe that will be exactly the feature of the talks and relations we are going to enjoy during that period in Moscow,” he said.
After Mr. Obama said the U.S.-Russia relationship “has been allowed to drift,” Mr. Medvedev agreed the nations had been “drifting in some wrong directions.”
About the Author
President Obama can't even organize a proper whitewash
- Calling prison term disparities unfair, Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
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- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Special ops vets slam military benefit cuts
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
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