'Hello Jeffrey': Obama mistakes chancellor for R&B singer

George Osborne 'visibly embarrassed' as US president confuses him with 65-year-old singer Jeffrey Osborne

(Image credit: Getty Images)

GEORGE OSBORNE has been called many things since becoming chancellor, but being called Jeffrey by the president of the United States probably hurt more than any of them.

The Tory politician was "visibly embarrassed" when President Obama called him 'Jeffrey' three times at a G8 presentation on tax avoidance yesterday. The mistake has been blamed on the fact that Jeffrey Osborne (pictured below), a 65-year-old American singer, is the president's favourite R&B artist.

Jeffrey Osborne performs live at the taping of 'The 3rd Annual Soul Train Christmas Starfest' in Los Angeles, Ca. 11/20/00.(Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect.)

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Osborne – the one born in Rhode Island – is best-known in the UK for singing the 1984 hit On the Wings of Love (see video below). George Osborne – the one born in Paddington, London - is best known for introducing a raft of austerity measures and crying at Margaret Thatcher's funeral.

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The Guardian points out it could have been worse: Obama could have called the 42-year-old British politician 'Ozzy'.

But Jeffrey was "more than bad enough", says the paper, because of what it implied, more than for what it said. What it implied was that "Osborne is a total nonentity on the political stage to Obama; a man whose presence is as forgettable as his name, even when the world's press is gathered for a G8 summit."


Jeffrey Osborne was delighted to learn that he was the president's No. 1, reports Sky News. In what Sky describes as a "bizarre twist", he has offered to record a duet with the chancellor if he visits the US.

The Daily Mail points out that George isn't even the chancellor's real name – he changed it from Gideon at the age of 13 as a "small act of rebellion".

Obama capped off a day of verbal blunders by remarking that Nick Clegg was "better looking" than David Cameron.

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