Well isn’t that special! Clinton reassures Britain on its U.S. relationship
It turns out the relationship between the United States and Britain is very special.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to great lengths on Sunday to reassure Britons and their political leaders that the “special relationship” between the two allies is strong and intact.
Exhibit A: at a news conference with Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Clinton opened her remarks by stressing their strong relations.
“First, let me just underscore how grateful I am for this opportunity to reaffirm the historic importance of the special relationship between our two countries,” she said.
Exhibit B: at a meeting later with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Clinton reiterated the message again. Note how many times the word “special” creeps into her sentence.
“It is a special relationship,” she said at the prime minister’s country estate. “I have a special personal relationship with the prime minister and of course I think it can’t be said often enough, we have a special relationship between our countries.”
Here’s the background: some Britons feel President Barack Obama has snubbed Brown by, for example, not holding a full press conference with him in Washington earlier this year (the two spoke to reporters in the Oval Office instead) and not scheduling one-on-one meetings at various international summits.
U.S. officials often appear mystified by the concerns. Clinton did her best, verbally anyway, to show they need not worry.
Later in the day she visited Dublin. The Irish, who are perhaps less concerned about semantics, welcomed her warmly as she made a visit to a coffee shop and a local pub, sipping coffee and swigging part of a beer.
Now that’s a special relationship.
Photo credit: REUTERS/Jeff Mason (U.S. Secretary of State and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, October 11, 2009)