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Rupert Murdoch's "representative on earth" rubbishes claims that Barack Obama does not see David Cameron as a man of substance

Cameron and Obama Recently the New Statesman's James Macintyre wrote this piece claiming that Barack Obama had dismissed David Cameron as all "sizzle" and no substance.

It was a variation on the theme Mr Macintyre adopted in December last year when he made similar claims that the then President-elect had branded the Conservative leader "a lightweight" - about which I cast my doubts at the time.

Now the spurious claims have been rubbished by no less a figure than Irwin Stelzer, the respected economist and columnist often viewed as being Rupert Murdoch's "representative on earth". Writing for the Guardian, he asserts:

"Ask... whether it is reasonable to assume that super-cautious Obama, a lawyer without an impetuous bone in his body, is likely to have derided a man with whom he might have to do business for years to come. The answer is that Obama is as likely to have shared that thought with Cameron's political opponents as Thomas More was to have told Richard Rich of his opposition to Henry VIII's divorce."

"But we do know that the president, who had no obligation to do so and who is enough of a politician to know that a meeting would be a big plus for a politician new on the world scene, chose to meet with Cameron during his visit to Britain for the G20 meeting in April – privately, at Winfield House, the Regent Park residence of the US ambassador. If this were merely a drive-by hello, Obama would not have brought with him secretary of state Hillary Clinton, national security adviser General Jim Jones, treasury secretary Tim Geithner and deputy chief of staff Jim Messina."

I wouldn't argue with any of that and remain of the view that whilst a Cameron-Obama relationship would not quite be a meeting of like minds à la Thatcher-Reagan, there appeared to be a certain chemistry between the pair when they first met in London and I am sure that they would have a very productive relationship if and when David Cameron becomes Prime Minister. 

Stelzer also goes on to say that he believes that David Cameron does indeed have substance, which surely adds to the evidence that the Murdoch press, like most of Fleet Street, will dump Labour and back the Conservatives come the general election.

Jonathan Isaby


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