Britain’s Brown probes Obama on possible tennis match

March 3, 2009

We all know that Barack Obama knows his way around the basketball court. He also has a decent golf swing. But what about tennis?

That is one of the things British Prime Minister Gordon Brown inquired about during his first visit to the Oval Office since Obama took over the presidency on Jan. 20. Tom Bradby of ITV News asked them how they found working with each other.

OBAMA/PRIME MINISTER BROWN: Yes, Tom, I’ve enjoyed every conversation that we’ve had, both on the telephone and when we’ve met. I don’t think I could ever compete with you at basketball — perhaps tennis.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Tennis,  I hear you got a game.

PRIME MINISTER BROWN: Yes, we could maybe have a — have a shot.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: We haven’t tried it yet.

PRIME MINISTER BROWN: I don’t know if you — I think you’d be better. But there we are.

Their search for something in common recalled George W. Bush’s first meeting with then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair at Camp David in early 2001. Those two decided they had at least one thing in common — they both used Colgate toothpaste.

The leaders of the United States and Britain like to foster a “special relationship.” With that in mind, Brown did not get all the bells and whistles that such visits have received in the past. There was no high-profile East Room news conference after their talks. Instead it was an Oval Office Q & A session with reporters.

But the two leaders seemed to get on well and Obama talked up the special ties between the two countries.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, first of all, the special relationship between the United States and Great Britain is one that is not just important to me, it’s important to the American people.

Alas, no word if they checked out the tennis court on the White House grounds.

For more Reuters political coverage, click here.

- Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Obama and Brown in the Oval Office.)

2 comments

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the british were very much instep with bush in iraq ,perhaps to try and influence the middle eastern observers obama tried to play down anglo american relations by not putting a show on for brown?perhaps now the french are better bed fellows?more exceptable to iran etc.it falls in line with hillerys first visit, to france,are we seeing a change in alliegiance?

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

The photo was taken very excellently. That shows how close and warm between the US and UK. So attractive.

Posted by Wang Xu | Report as abusive