Obama Meets Protocol

Granted, this post from Sam Coates was made before today's article in The Times of London highlighting frustrations with British PM Gordon Brown, but it's interesting taken together:

Barack Obama's overnight into Saturday here is a big moment - even though Britain is playing a second tier in rock star's big tour. Still, both Gordon Brown and David Cameron will be looking for a bit of Obamacadabra magic to rub off on them. Who wouldn't.

But protocol in these situations is all, and consequently there is much hand wringing. Gordon Brown is deeply restricted in what he can do with Obama, and there will be no handshakes outside Number 10 because there wasn't one when McCain came over.

There are less restrictions on David Cameron, who will be meeting him afterwards in the Houses of Parliament.

So it caused considerable consternation inside Number 10 when they were told by Obama's advisers that one plan under consideration was that the presumptive Democrat nominee would leave Downing Street and meet David Cameron at the gates of Downing Street. They would walk - yes walk - to Parliament for their meeting. Huge "spontaneous" photo op.

Though this plan was extremely risky for both sides and always seemed unlikely - Downing Street were terrified that this would be seen as a sign of Obama preferment. Which it would. The plan has now, apparently, been bashed on the head after high level intervention.

But that Obama's people were considering this is, to say the least, surprising.