Do you remember the days when foreign leaders didn’t endorse candidates in American elections?
I don’t mean the Soviet Bloc or the OIC, but national leaders from what used to be known as the “Free World”. A sitting prime minister or president didn’t publicly state his preference for the President of the United States. It just wasn’t done. Everyone knew that Pierre Trudeau preferred the Democrat candidate, and Harold Macmillan the Republican. But they didn’t come out and say so; it would have been bad form.
But times have changed. The Old School has died off. Nowadays everyone in the world seems to feel entitled to claim a voice in the American presidential elections, and foreign leaders are no longer shy about giving out endorsements. Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt led the way, coming out for Barack Obama early in the primary season.
And now it’s time for Cool Britannia to be heard from. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has removed his nose from Muslim posteriors long enough to put his foot in his mouth, big time. According to The Telegraph:
John McCain has hit back at Gordon Brown after the Prime Minister apparently broke convention by endorsing Barack Obama in a magazine article.
Mr Brown lavished praise on the Democrat candidate’s economic policies in a move which has threatened to open a serious rift between the Republicans and the British Government.
The article may also embarrass Mr Obama as the Prime Minister praises a policy which has allegedly been quietly dropped by the Democrat candidate
On the McCain campaign website, Michael Goldfarb, the deputy communications director appeared to mock Mr Brown, writing: “Far be it from this campaign to underestimate the value of an endorsement from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, but there is one slightly embarrassing detail that this endorsement is bound to highlight.
“According to the report, Brown’s endorsement was tied to a specific policy…Obama had championed a Foreclosure Prevention Fund, but sometime late last month he seems to have…changed his position.”
Heh. Gordon looks a bit of an ass in this one, don’t you know? Not only did he break convention to play kiss-catch with Obama, but the candidate stepped aside at the last moment and left the PM smooching thin air.
Given the recent trends in the campaign, Mr. Brown-Nose may well have to deal with a McCain administration in the not-so-distant future. His staff realize the danger and have moved into damage-control mode, but they’ve got their work cut out for them:
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The incident has caused alarm within Downing Street and the British Embassy in Washington. The Embassy is understood to have been in communication with Mr McCain’s aides, who have officially complained, to stress that the Prime Minister was not endorsing either candidate.
Mr Brown said yesterday that he had “great admiration” for both senators and was not interfering in the election. Downing Street aides refused to reveal whether Mr Brown had telephoned Mr McCain to apologise.
And here’s the funny part: in true Clintonoid fashion, the prime minister has leaked via his flunkies that the he wasn’t really the one who wrote the article. “It wasn’t me; it was my junior staff — sorry about that, old chap!”
Senior sources alleged that the article was written by a junior Labour official. They claimed that the Prime Minister may not have checked it and it had not been cleared by his private office.
Chris Grayling, another shadow Cabinet minister, added: “What we are seeing in Government at the moment is a ‘pass the buck’ culture emerging. Gordon Brown and ministers won’t take the responsibility for anything.”
Only a postmodern Socialist politician would consider this a worthy excuse. Just think: Mr. Brown is so out of touch and ineffectual as a leader that he can’t even control or monitor the actions of his own subordinates when they write articles in his name!
And this is a defense?
As a final note, it’s no surprise that the Italians are still capable of showing a bit of class:
During a visit to London yesterday, Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian President, said it would be “totally absurd” for a world leader to endorse one of the candidates.
So the Old School isn’t entirely dead. We all know what Mr. Berlusconi must think of Barack Hussein Obama, but he has enough savoir faire not to say it out loud.
Hat tip: no2liberals.