Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Britain's P.M. Brown appears to endorse Obama, but then says not really

The British press is in a tizzy over Prime Minister Gordon Brown's recent praise of Barack Obama.

Why? It's uncouth.

Foreign leaders are expected to maintain (or at least feign) neutrality ahead of U.S. elections, and the press thinks that Brown's article in this month's Parliamentary Monitor reads too much like an endorsement of the freshman Illinois senator.

In the piece, Brown extols Obama's plan to lift theBritish Prime Minister Gordon Brown appears to endorse Illinois senator and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama but the PM says not really U.S. out of an economic recession and slow home foreclosures.

"In the electrifying U.S. presidential campaign, it is the Democrats who are generating the ideas to help people through more difficult times," Brown gushes.

"To help prevent people from losing their home, Barack Obama has proposed a foreclosure prevention fund to increase emergency pre-foreclosure counseling and help families facing repossession."

So the head of British government likes Obama's economic proposals -- shouldn't he be able to say so?

Absolutely not, according to The Guardian's The Telegraph's Tim Shipman, who delivered a very harsh, very British rebuke of Gordon on Tuesday:   

"The first law of diplomacy is that you do not stick your fat foot into other country's elections, least of all the U.S. presidential contest, where the chap who wins can turn round and squash you, like Monty Python's giant descending foot, if you get it wrong," Shipman wrote.

In other words, if John McCain turns out to be "the chap who wins," U.S.-British relations could be damaged. That's what happened in the 1992 election, Shipman says, when Britain's Tories openly pulled for George H.W. Bush. When Democrat Bill Clinton actually won the White House that year, his dealings with Conservative Prime Minister John Major were strained from the beginning.

Brown, though, insists that his article was no endorsement. His spokesman told Agence France-Presse on Tuesday that Brown was not endorsing a candidate -- and never would.

"He has made clear when asked on a number of occasions that the election is a matter for the American people alone, and he looks forward to working closely with whoever is the next president across a range of common interests," the spokesman said.

Of course, Brown isn't the only European leader to praise Obama. In July, France's president, Nicolas Sarkozy, offered effusive praise of the Democrat from Illinois. (And, proud Frenchman that he is, he never apologized.)

-- Kate Linthicum

Photo credit:

(UPDATE: The above post incorrectly said that Tim Shipman published an article in The Guardian. Shipman is a journalist with The Telegraph)

Comments () | Archives (2)

The comments to this entry are closed.

It saddens me that America has become a nation of 50% "low information" voters. You have millions of McCain/Palin supporters that "claim" to have morals and values yet, their party represents anything BUT. Most of this planet can see through the B.S McCain/Palin toss out for general consumption except Americans!!!! We swallow all that "War Hero" propaganda forgetting that while being a POW and serving your country with honor is admirable, it doesnt make you a HERO.

I Find it strange that nobody talks about the 5 1/2 years he spent as a POW, his wife WAITED for his return, as any LOYAL wife would do and what happened? She had a horrible accident and he dropped her like a bad habit and had an affair with Cindy before finally divorcing the Woman that stood by his side. I personally find NO HONOR in that approach. Nevermind the fact that McCain SHOULDNT have even been a PILOT!!! He basically SUCKED at flying but due to his Grandfather and Father, strings were pulled and McCain became a Fighter Pilot.

Palin herself is a joke. Here's a Woman that doesnt believe in Sex Ed and forces 2 teens to get married ( does anyone really believe in 2008 a 17 and 18yr old want to get MARRIED? geesh) Now that the media is able to look into her background, all types of alarming things are surfacing, but just like the morons that drove around so proudly with the big "W" in the rear window of their gas guzzling SUV's, only to go underground once it became obvious their candidate of choice is a total Idiot, now they feel the McCain/Palin ticket is the answer.

It boggles the mind that 50% of Americans really think and believe McCain will put the "average American Family" ahead of big business. HELLO???? His wife runs a 100 million dollar Beer Distribution business so it stands to reason he will fight tooth and nail to prevent an increase on Taxes for the "WEALTHY" i.e Big Business. His voting record speaks for itself, Palin's lies are totally verifiable however, "low information voters" i.e Dumb people, buy into the nonsense, meanwhile, the rest of the World looks on and cant seem to figure out why Americans are so stupid.

I know why. We care more about Brad and Angelina, Lindsay and Paris, O.J and text messages or the latest Hi Tech gizmo than we do the fate of our nation. I find it fascinating that we as Americans, will line up for hours to be the first to purchase the new iPhone or X-Box but not many will take 30mins out of their day to do simple research and fact check on people like McCain or Palin. I personally would like that ticket to win so I can laugh at all the idiots complain once the final nail has been driven in the coffin we once so proudly called America. I'll be living in Norway FYI

At the risk of sounding a smart-arse, Tim Shipman of the (right-leaning) Telegraph might be a bit miffed to read that he is a writer for its rival paper the Guardian!


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
Republican Politics
Democratic Politics



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: