LONDON — Sen. Barack Obama will hop back across the Atlantic later today after pre-taping a “Meet the Press” interview from here.
He had several private meetings and then briefly chatted with reporters with his assessment of the trip.
As we arrived at 10 Downing St. for the presser, several Brits camped out offered the signature Obama chant:
During the press conference, Obama’s remarks were sometimes hard to hear as people at the gate outside the British government complex shouted “Obama, Obama, Obama!”
Obama met with PM Gordon Brown, former PM Tony Blair and opposition leader David Cameron.
Cameron offered the best color for reporters. According to a pool report:
Cameron’s staff said Obama left with three parting gifts. Cameron gave him a copy of Winston Churchill’s History of the English-Speaking Peoples and a box of CDs of British bands, including the Smiths, Radiohead and the Gorillaz. William Hague, the shadow foreign minister, gave Obama a book he wrote: “William Wilberforce: The Life of the Great Anti-Slave Trade Campaigner.”
As Obama got into his van, your pool had a chance to ask Cameron his impressions. Could Obama win an election here, the pool wondered. “Oh, I think he would probably beat me,” Cameron said.
Obama will be departing shortly. He’ll appear on “Meet” in the morning and will attend CNN’s Unity ‘08 forum.
Stephen Dinan and I had a piece in today’s paper detailing the latest back and forther over Iraq.
Sen. John McCain said Friday that Sen. Barack Obama has “failed” the test of leadership posed by Iraq, ridiculing his Democratic presidential rival for continuing to reject the troop surge even as he acknowledges it has helped stabilize the troubled nation.
Meanwhile the Obama campaign was struggling to explain why he announced andthen canceled a visit with wounded U.S. troops at Landstuhl RegionalMedical Center in Germany - and the questions over his decision threatened to undo the good press that his tour of the Middle East and Europe has produced so far.
Mr. McCain, using his strongest language yet in a speech to a veterans group in Denver, attacked Mr. Obama’s judgment for opposing the addition of tens of thousands of U.S. troops to Iraq last year.
“Fortunately, Senator Obama failed, not our military. We rejected the audacity of hopelessness, and we were right,” Mr. McCain said, mocking the title of Mr. Obama’s second book, “The Audacity of Hope.”“Senator Obama said this week that even knowing what he knows today that he still would have opposed the surge. In retrospect, given the opportunity to choose between failure and success, he chooses failure. I cannot conceive of a commander in chief making that choice.”
Read the full story here.
— Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter,
The Washington Times
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