The Non-Empirical Insecurity Of A Faded Empire

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British journalists are swarming the White House today, and they are all obsessed with the same thing: Does Obama like England, or does he, you know, really like England, as a special kind of friend? I wrote about it below. It’s kind of pathetic. But then it must be hard begging favor from a former colony, so I won’t begrudge the Brits. (They still make better anti-drug ads and television shows than us, with the exception of 30 Rock.)

Of course, in the brief Oval Office press avail, a BBC reporter asked Obama if it was a holding-hands, a kiss-on-the-lips, or an over-the-pants-under-the-shirt kind of relationship. See Obama’s answer after the jump.

QUESTION: Nick Robertson, BBC News. Mr. President, it’s often been said that you, unlike many of your predecessors, have not looked towards (ph) Europe, let alone Britain. Can you just respond to that comment?. . .

OBAMA: Well, first of all, the special relationship between the United States and Great Britain is one that is not just important to me; it’s important to the American people.

And it is sustained by a common language, a common culture. Our legal system is directly inherited from the English system. Our system of government reflects many of these same values. So — and, by the way, that’s also where my mother’s side of my family came from.

So I think this notion that somehow there is any lessening of that special relationship is misguided. You know, Great Britain is one of our closest, strongest allies. And there is a link, a bond there that will not break. And I think that’s true not only on the economic front, but also on issues of common security.

Despite this answer, I would not be suprised if the British press spends the next week trying to figure out why Obama said “misguided” and not “wrong” or “false.”