Barack Obama really does go on a bit
It is good, in theory, that the new President of the United States is taking so much time to tour Europe. But his long stay means that we are hearing rather a lot from him, way too much in fact.
We are told that he is a great orator and in one way he certainly is. He does have a preternatural calm in the spotlight and a mastery of the cadences we associate with the notable speakers in US history – such as JFK and MLK. But beyond that, am I alone in finding him increasingly to be something of a bore?
His performance at the first press conference in London with Gordon Brown featured moments in which he sparkled – his riff on loving the Queen was a high-point. But most of the serious answers that I listened to were interminable, windy and not very impressive. At points there were pauses so long that it appeared he had simply lost his train of thought.
But Obama was only warming up. « When I was born, » (Everything usually leads back to him, you’ll notice)… « the world was divided, and our nations were faced with very different circumstances. Few people would have predicted that someone like me would one day become an American President. » (Him again)…
The Obamas have handled their trip well and in their public appearances have been a credit to their country. But I’ll wager that within a year or so he’ll be marked down as a wind-bag.