Coffee House

Cameron and Obama, sans yellow mustard

14 March 2012

Above is what they call the ‘raw video’ of David Cameron’s and Barack Obama’s trip to a basketball game last night. It’s the unrefined version of what Downing St hopes will be refined,
packaged and sent to your television screen at hyperspeed: images of the PM and the President dressed casually and chatting away as the game goes on. Like I said yesterday, it’s political theatre — designed to benefit both men.

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They were then both interviewed at halftime, which you can watch here. This was more about sports than about the political intricacies of
the special relationship (Cameron: ‘It’s hard to follow,  sometimes, who’s done exactly what wrong’) — and it appears to have been usurped in the American newspapers by news
of Rick Santorum’s two victories in Alabama and Missippi last night, which solidify the idea that it’s Romney versus Rick now. I
can’t see Cameron’s visit mentioned anywhere on the homepage of the New York Times website. Although it does feature halfway down the Washington Post’s, along with this bit of

‘Cameron was such a rookie to American sports traditions that he put ketchup, sans yellow mustard, on his hot dog. At least he washed it down with an all-American Coca-Cola.’

The political theatre will become more politics, less theatre, today — with discussions about Syria and Afghanistan. On the latter, Obama has said that there will be no ‘rush
for the exits,’ but, as I’ve already blogged, it’s thought that his White House is considering options for pulling out of the country faster. It’s worth looking out for any further signals on
that, from either Obama or Cameron, as the day goes on. In the meantime, the Sun sums it all up in one cartoon.

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Show comments
  • Edlebanon

    “It is outrageous that Dim Davie doesn’t understand that he should be meeting, with equal time, the main contenders for the Republican nomination. This man is so politically dim that it’s irritating.”

    With respect, only the outrageously dim would think that Cameron meeting with the hopelessly lackluster Republican contenders was a smart move. There’s a lot wrong with Obama but Romney et al make him look effortlessly presidential and that’s saying something.

  • McClane

    Is Cameron going to mention the Falklands?

  • Louisa

    I feel sorry for David Cameron here, not a sentiment I’m particularly familiar with. He is uncomfortable and miserable in that setting and jolly old Obama knows it. The host has taken advantage of the visitor’s impeccable good manners and it is not a very edifying sight.

  • starfish


    I take exception to you calling me a troll – believe it or not it is possible for people to form coherent opinions other than yours

    Who Mr Cameron meets is up to him and in part down to the business being discussed. If Mr Cameron met the Republican candidates no doubt he would be accused of interfering in the US political process

    President Obama’s interest in sport is well documented.

    I note that your incisive political analysis is matched by your innate sense of fashion

    Any thoughts on lefty hypocrisy?

  • Verity

    Minnie Ovens 12:20 pm … Quite.

    Not one of my American friends has commented to me on this visit. It is so irrelevant it’s not being noticed outside DC.

    I did a quick scan of big city papers yesterday, and none of them mentioned this visit. No one has even carried a humourous account of Samantha Cameron’s awful clothes.

  • Verity

    Starfish …. For your work as a troll, I award you nul points. Your justifying post was absolutely pathetic, not to say infantile. How old are you, dear?

    BTW — Obama “takes a keen interest in sport”? Who knew? The graduates of Chicago’s Tammany Hall are not noted for such innocent pursuits. Indeed, I think the only interest in sport we have noted in Obama is posing around golf courses in Hawaii.

    Obama, by the way, as you appear to have missed the evidence of the last four years, hates Britain (his family in Kenya were allegedly with the Mau Mau). His first act as president was to send back the bust of Churchill from the British people to the people of the United States to demonstrate the warmth of the relationship and gratitude for help in WWII.

    David Cameron is being used for Obama’s presidential campaign. It is outrageous that Dim Davie doesn’t understand that he should be meeting, with equal time, the main contenders for the Republican nomination. This man is so politically dim that it’s irritating.

  • Biggestaspidistra

    It’s funny to see the Brits taking their pullys off when it gets a bit warm. So Marks and Sparks.

  • Tiberius

    It is very important to Americans what goes on a hot dog. Who can forget Dirty Harry’s pronuncement that what really made him sick to his stomach was watching his colleague stuffing hid face with hot dogs – “nobody, I mean nobody, puts ketchup on a hot dog”.

  • Maggie

    Minnie Owens, Both countries were already screwed up by their predecessors. Both leaders are trying to rectify the catastrophic mistakes made by the previous administrations that had brought their respective countries to the brink of bankruptcy

  • Minnie Ovens

    Living much of the time in the USA I find it somewhat amusing at the British media’s enthusiasm to analyse and report on this visit.
    Most people in the States do not give av damn and that goes for most media outside of some TV.
    What scares me the most is the possibility that these two draw comfort from each other in attempting to screw up their countries.
    So far both have succeeded extremely well on their own.

  • Dimoto

    Jeremy – you think ??

    Gerald Scarfe passed his sell-by in about 1980. He understands nothing and just produces weird “Brit art” efforts which have no point at all.
    Typical News Intl really, looking old and threadbare.

  • Jeremy

    Given what I consider to be the doomed nature of ‘the mission’ – plus a decade of war and 400 British dead – I do not find The Sun’s cartoon in the least bit amusing.

    It would take a cartoonist with the trenchant abilities of a Nick Garland or a Gerald Scarfe to do the subject justice.

    But then, nor do I find Mr Cameron’s trip to America amusing, either. Is he going to pop in to the prison and visit Mr Tappin whilst he’s out there? Or would there be no celebrity kudos in that?

  • Jeremy

    Washington Post:

    ‘Cameron was such a rookie to American sports traditions that he put ketchup, sans yellow mustard, on his hot dog. At least he washed it down with an all-American Coca-Cola.’

    That stuff rots your teeth. And the hot dog will make you as fat – and quite possibly as fatuous – as an American.

  • Wilhelm 1

    Moses parting the Red Sea is a big deal. Cameron putting ketchup on a hotdog is not a big deal, but is to the hacks.

  • starfish

    I do wonder about some of the posters on this website

    Such vitriol and cynicism

    US President is keen on sport, gets on well with UK PM, invites him to a big US sporting event

    Is this a crime?

    I note no comments on ‘Red’ Ed turning up to a football match in a rolls royce after crying off meetings earlier in the day because he was ‘ill’

    Double standards? Lefties have them in spades

  • TomTom

    I miss coverage of Prince Harry, and Kate, and Samantha Cameron….can we have more of these “personal” stories to make us all feel we “are in this together” ? It is so inspirational to see Obama meeting with a descendant of the Head of Hong Kong Shanghai Bank and able to genuflect at Cameron’s knee

  • Wilhelm 1

    Obimbo has taken the prime minster to Ohio to electioneer so Cameron is just being used as a prop.

    ” Cameron was the first world leader allowed on Airforce One.”

    Gosh, golly, gee whizz, gee willikers !! Is that the reaction the lame stream media wants from the great unwashed ? the reality is, no one gives a shit.

  • Wilhelm 1

    Has the Spectator come to this ? Articles about what to put on hotdogs, ketchup or mustard, Jesus Christ.

  • Magnolia

    Even before I saw any pictures I just knew that that horrible navy polo shirt would come out again. I suppose it shows a waste not want not mentality unless it’s navy polo number 100 which would be more worrying still. Did he wear it as a kind of Linus blanket for comfort? Navy is a unflattering colour and should be limited to blonds with very blue eyes, and oh dear, polos?! His hair looks suspiciously dark again. He looks very lost and sweet but at least it’s some comfort that he’s not Gordon Brown.

  • Master Cobbett

    I feel the same sense of unease in watching Cameron in America, as I did when observing Blair, through screwed up eyes,cosying up to Clinton and Bush. What will he be signing away next ? What concessions are being made, what agreements are being settled that will be to America’s advantage, but not to that of the British electorate. It is one of the great disadvantages of electing 40 plus, going on 20,years old politicians as Premiers is that they’re too impulsive and lack the maturity to resist the blandishments of the world’s only super power.

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