Barack Obama just threw a protective arm around David Cameron at their joint press conference, stressing that ‘you have to see if you can fix what’s broken in an important relationship before you break it off ‘.
The instant retweeting of this line by the Tory leadership’s communications channels shows just how grateful they are for Obama’s verbal support for Cameron’s EU strategy. It is also worth noting, as they have gleefully tweeted, that Obama’s words also appear to be an endorsement of renegotiation as an approach.
But does this actually matter? I suspect not. On this issue, Tory MPs are more worried about what their associations are saying and the concerns of their former voters than those of the President of the United States.
What this does tell us, though, is that Obama is prepared to expend a bit of political capital to help Cameron out when he’s in trouble. It suggests that Obama will be helpful to Cameron as 2015 nears.
More Spectator for less. Stay informed leading up to the EU referendum and in the aftermath. Subscribe and receive 15 issues delivered for just £15, with full web and app access. Join us.