Five long, agonizing days after its general election, Britain finally has a new Prime Minister. In the wake of Gordon Brown's resignation, David Cameron will form a coalition government between his center-right Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats — prompting American observers to ask what this resolution might mean for the U.S. Historically, conservative prime ministers and U.S. presidents have often been simpatico (Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan worked closely, for example). Pundits weigh in: (Watch David Cameron introduce "a new politics")
We may have lost a key military ally: Tony Blair's alliance with Bush over Iraq was so "deeply unpopular" in Britain, says Jackson Diehl in The Washington Post, that its new conservative leaders want to avoid "excessive deference" to the U.S. Could our largest military ally withhold its support if we end up in a new war — with Iran, most likely? "Let's hope we don't have to find out."
"What will Britain's govenrment do about 'slavish' relations with U.S.?"
This could offer a united front against Europe: Politically, Cameron's Tories "aren't really so different from Obama's Democrats," says Michael Tomasky in the Guardian. Obama is reportedly fed up with European leaders "complaining about the U.S.," and he and Cameron could find common ground "waging war (metaphorical, cultural and economic)" on Europe. If nothing else, it would be better than the last war we fought together.
"Special relationship reboot"
There won't be any "special" relationship: The Thatcher-Reagan days are long gone, says Mark Blyth, professor of political economy at Brown University, as quoted by the AP, and Obama is now more focused on the BRICs — "emerging economies Brazil, Russia, India and China" — than he is on the Brits. "The game has moved on," and what David Cameron will soon discover is "Obama doesn't seem to have a special relationship with anyone."
"Will the Obama-Cameron relationship be special?"
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