I was contemplating a bacon sandwich this morning when I heard President Obama speaking live to an audience of easily 40,000 in Prague. The old magic was back. Soaring rhetoric, pitch perfect delivery, nuanced. Basically everything he wasn’t when he was asked that question in London by Nick Robinson (John Crace at The Guardian describes it well – someone should have advised him that in the UK journalists ask questions as opposed to fawn).
Anyway back to the good stuff. He was addressing heady matters (especially in light of North Korea’s satellite / missle launch) – Global security – but in a way which was resonating both with his local and international audience.
I got it wrong a week or so ago when I said he should think about boycotting the G20 and stay in the West Wing and deal with domestic issues (which in the medium term would serve the world well also). This, his first Transatlantic foray since becoming elected President, seems to have energized him and with it the global body politic. He probably switched right back into campaign mode. Long flights, strange accents, new people.
It’s a bit like the wider business world I suspect. When you get bogged down, get out of the office and tackle the problem from a different angle. President Obama’s problem is the United State’s Congress and a little distance from it has reminded him just how powerful he is.
When Air Force One touches down at Andrew’s he needs to bounce down those stairs and crack the whip – starting with Pelosi and Reid.