US-UK Relations Becoming Less Special (and that’s good)


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For those of you following President Obama’s trip to Ireland, the UK, France, and Poland, here is the opener of a piece I just wrote for the BBC on the need for US-UK Relations to get an update and reset.

The Raw Truth About the US-UK ‘Special Relationship’
During the tough-fought Democratic presidential primary between then-senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, at a wry moment during a televised debate, Clinton called Obama “very likeable” and he responded with the sterile retort, “you’re likeable enough”.
One can easily imagine David Cameron, the Queen, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, Elton John and lots of British citizens waiting, on edge, for Mr Obama to offer the iconic words “special relationship”, while knowing that no matter what the president utters, he really means the UK is just “special enough”.
Mr Obama and his wife Michelle arrive for a state visit on Tuesday, and inevitably pundits will measure the trip’s success along silly lines – on whether Mr Obama and Mr Cameron publicly call each other Barack and David, whether Mr Obama gets out on a cricket field, or better yet, whether they get sweaty playing basketball together.
But the truth about UK-US relations is that while there remains a unique and special character to the bond, it is not the “special relationship” it used to be.

The rest can be read here.
— Steve Clemons


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