Thursday, 5 February 2009

Blair meets Obama while Brown looks on.

Only the honking horns of a protest by London taxi drivers in Whitehall could have drowned out the noise of furniture, telephones, and possibily the office cat, being thrown across the front rooms of 10 Downing Street when the television started broadcasting live pictures of Tony Blair meeting President Barack Obama.

In power Mr Blair seemed to take effortless delight in upsetting his neighbour and chancellor but even out of office he does not appear to have let the habit of a political lifetime slip.

Getting the presidential handshake ahead of Mr Brown at a Prayer Breakfast with Mr Obama Mr Blair looked as if he was loving every minute of it. He smiled as broadly as the current occupant of 10 Downing Street must have glowered to see the tableau of his former rival bathing the glow of the Obama presidency.

While Mr Brown has to wait until later this month or even until he hosts the G20 in London in April to formally meet President Obama Mr Blair beat him to the photo-op. He beamed from the pulpit, referred to the President as his “very good friend” and went on to prove that, as head of Tony Blair Faith Foundation, he does do God.

The former PM eulogised his way through a deeply religious address, studded with references to his own faith combined with a series of self-depricating gags. He spoke about his own spiritual awakening at the age of ten, after his father had a stroke, and concluded with the hope that politicians would "do God’s will".

Mr Obama was quick to praise the ex Prime Minister, claiming he was “an example to so many people around the world of what dedicated leadership can accomplish”. Ouch, how that must have hurt in Downing Street.

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