Coffee House

Ed Miliband comes to Washington — and nobody here notices

22 July 2014

7:56 AM

22 July 2014

7:56 AM

Washington, D.C.

Ed Miliband met with Barack Obama yesterday, haven’t you heard? The British press covered the visit with their usual gusto but the visit barely registered on the radar of American outlets. Out of the country’s most influential papers, neither the New York Times nor the Wall Street Journal wrote a single word about the potential next prime minister of the United Kingdom meeting the president. Miliband wasn’t covered on any of the blogs or TV stations either.

Only one US paper said anything about the visit. In yesterday’s Washington PostI described the lack of interest in Miliband’s visit from Washington’s point of view and why the trip matters for the Labour leader:

‘The Miliband brush-by would not be the first time the pair have publicly met. Obama and Miliband shared a 40-minute conversation, and a photo op, at Buckingham Palace three years ago. Obama advised Miliband to be more upbeat if he wanted to win. But with just 10 months to go until the general election, Miliband appears very keen for more advice and more gravitas from a president who may be struggling at home, but not as much as the man who may soon lead the United Kingdom.’

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Given the crises over MH17 and Gaza, some may think it’s impressive that Obama found any time to meet Miliband. Yet the president was only carrying out his diplomatic duty by offering the opposition leader a now traditional ‘brush-by’ meeting. These quick encounters are not officially scheduled, but tend to be prearranged between advisers and have now become a requirement for any prime minister in waiting. Tony Blair received 20 minutes with Bill Clinton in 1996, while David Cameron was given half an hour with George W. Bush in 2007. Gordon Brown received a brush-by with Obama in 2009 — but embarrassingly, it was in the kitchen of the United Nations HQ in New York and he was prime minister at the time.

Yet the success of yesterday’s meeting has a special significance for Miliband. Firstly, he was photographed with the president discussing key issues of the day: Ukraine, Gaza, the economy, climate change, Scottish independence and the future of the EU according to a Labour spokesman. As Jonathan Powell has pointed out  there’s no better way for an opposition leader to appear prime ministerial than meeting with the president. Secondly, Miliband has employed the services of David Axelrod, a former Obama adviser, for a reported sum of £300,000. If Miliband were unable to secure a meeting at this cost, it would be rather embarrassing.

But Miliband got his meeting, plus a positive statement from the White House, coverage in the British press and the photo op. All of these add weight to the notion that he’s being taken seriously round the world as a potential PM.

Flying thousands of miles to achieve this might seem a little vain. Maybe it’s a sign of the importance of what’s going on in the world at present, or maybe it is Britain’s declining influence in America; but Miliband’s visit to Washington has been a non-event in the U.S. If Miliband does become the next prime minister, both America and the DC political bubble will be scratching their heads wondering just who he is.

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  • http://www.military.com/spouse/military-deployment/reintegration/returning-to-home-life-after-deployment.html Jeffrey Dowling

    Thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family?

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    Are you passing through any of these problems,

    DO YOU NEED YOUR EX BACK VERY FAST

    DON YOU WANT YOUR LOVER TO LOVE YOU AS NEVER LIKE BEFORE

    ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM A LONG TIME SICKNESS

    ARE YOU FACING FINANCIAL PROBLEMS

    ARE YOU SEEKING FOR A GOOD JOB

    DO YOU WANT TO BECOME A HOUSE OWNER

    ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A FIRST CLASS GRADE

    DO YOU WANT TO COME OUT FIRST IN YOUR EXAMS

    ARE YOU A STAR AND YOU WANT TO BE SO POPULAR TO THE WHOLE WORLD

    DO YOU WANT TO BE RICH

    DO YOU WANT YOUR BUSINESS TO KEEP MOVING

    DO YOU HAVE A COMPANY OF ANY KIND AND YOU WANT IT TO EXPAND

    DO YOU WANT YOUR HUSBAND OR WIFE TO KEEP TO YOUR WORLD

    ARE YOU FACING ANY MARITAL PROBLEMS

    ARE YOU FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO GET PREGNANT FOR YOUR HUSBAND

    ARE YOU EXPERIENCING MISCARRIAGES ANY TIME YOU TAKE IN

    DO YOU WANT TO COMPETE IN ANY LOTTERY GAME

    ARE YOU FACING HARDSHIP

    HAVE YOU BEEN THREATENED BY SOMEONE

    DO YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN ANY THING YOU LAY YOUR HANDS ON

    IS YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER BEHAVING STRANGELY

    ARE YOU FACING WITCH CRAFT MANIPULATIONS

    DO YOU WANT TO CAST A STRONG LOVE SPELL ON YOUR GIRL OR BOY FRIEND

    DO YOU NEED MAGIC POWERS TO DO ANY THING YOU WANT

    ARE YOU FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO CHOOSE A LIFE PARTNER

    DO YOU WANT YOUR PARENTS TO BE PROUD OF YOU

    ARE YOU EXPERIENCING FAILURE AND DISAPPOINTMENT IN ANY THING YOU DO.(ETC)

    IF you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.{bravespellcaster@gmail.com} , Thanks..

  • http://www.military.com/spouse/military-deployment/reintegration/returning-to-home-life-after-deployment.html Jeffrey Dowling

    Thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family?

    Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, My name is Jeffrey Dowling,i live in TEXAS,USA.and I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(bravespellcaster@gmail.com}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same website http://bravespellcaster.yolasite.com,if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.{bravespellcaster@gmail.com} , Thanks.

    Are you passing through any of these problems,

    DO YOU NEED YOUR EX BACK VERY FAST

    DON YOU WANT YOUR LOVER TO LOVE YOU AS NEVER LIKE BEFORE

    ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM A LONG TIME SICKNESS

    ARE YOU FACING FINANCIAL PROBLEMS

    ARE YOU SEEKING FOR A GOOD JOB

    DO YOU WANT TO BECOME A HOUSE OWNER

    ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A FIRST CLASS GRADE

    DO YOU WANT TO COME OUT FIRST IN YOUR EXAMS

    ARE YOU A STAR AND YOU WANT TO BE SO POPULAR TO THE WHOLE WORLD

    DO YOU WANT TO BE RICH

    DO YOU WANT YOUR BUSINESS TO KEEP MOVING

    DO YOU HAVE A COMPANY OF ANY KIND AND YOU WANT IT TO EXPAND

    DO YOU WANT YOUR HUSBAND OR WIFE TO KEEP TO YOUR WORLD

    ARE YOU FACING ANY MARITAL PROBLEMS

    ARE YOU FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO GET PREGNANT FOR YOUR HUSBAND

    ARE YOU EXPERIENCING MISCARRIAGES ANY TIME YOU TAKE IN

    DO YOU WANT TO COMPETE IN ANY LOTTERY GAME

    ARE YOU FACING HARDSHIP

    HAVE YOU BEEN THREATENED BY SOMEONE

    DO YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN ANY THING YOU LAY YOUR HANDS ON

    IS YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER BEHAVING STRANGELY

    ARE YOU FACING WITCH CRAFT MANIPULATIONS

    DO YOU WANT TO CAST A STRONG LOVE SPELL ON YOUR GIRL OR BOY FRIEND

    DO YOU NEED MAGIC POWERS TO DO ANY THING YOU WANT

    ARE YOU FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO CHOOSE A LIFE PARTNER

    DO YOU WANT YOUR PARENTS TO BE PROUD OF YOU

    ARE YOU EXPERIENCING FAILURE AND DISAPPOINTMENT IN ANY THING YOU DO.(ETC)

    IF you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.{bravespellcaster@gmail.com} , Thanks.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Confusion reigned in Washington as President Obama went to the South Lawn thinking he was to to meet Mr. Ed and instead was confronted by Ed Miliband. “Ed who?” one Whitehouse Official was heard to mutter to his colleague. She shrugged her shoulders in response:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_PZPpWTRTU

    If IDS is the “Quiet Man”, Ed Miliband is the ‘Forgotten Man’

  • Barakzai

    ‘ . . . Britain’s declining influence in America . . . ‘

    Why might that be?

    We have precious little naval power (and potentially two white elephants if the US can’t fix the J35’s problems), an air force that has serious capability gaps and an army that didn’t meet American expectations in Iraq or Afghanistan. We’ve become just another NATO flag with little punch. Y’know, that island between neutral Ireland and Belgium . . .

  • Colonel Mustard

    Kim Jong-un is like a bloated version of Ed. Or maybe Ed is like a slimmed down version of Kim Jong-un. I think I shall refer to the Son of Communist as Kim Jong-ed.

  • ButcombeMan

    “All of these add weight to the notion that he’s being taken seriously round the world as a potential PM’.

    No they do not, Milliband is a joke. Even if he becomes PM, he will still be a joke.

    They chose the wrong brother, even those around him and close to him, allegedly say that now.

  • David Booth.

    “Ed Miliband comes to Washington — and nobody here notices”

    To be honest I hadn’t noticed Milliband had left the UK.

  • Inverted Meniscus

    Obama to assistant after passing Miliband in the corridor: “who or what the f*** was that?”

  • Dr. Heath

    Ed’s greatest need is for a deeper understanding of oratory. At his best, he hasn’t quite got the Obama touch. At his worst, he sounds like a school teacher hectoring pupils on Sports Day. Does Obama have the time to give Ed some personal coaching? We’ll soon know, the moment Ed next addresses a Sports Day assembly of schoolkids. If he never once faces the camera but is always talking to his audience sideways on, we’ll know he’s getting the knack. I can’t wait.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    We would like to believe this was a really important trip.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …so you and your army of sockpuppets are as dumb as this Speccie kid?

      • BarkingAtTreehuggers

        I’d like to say I agree with you on this one.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …if you socialist nutters agree with anything, it must be wrong.

  • Chingford Man

    “In yesterday’s Washington Post, where I’m currently undertaking a fellowship…”

    So Sebbie is in DC making the tea?

    I imagine the Yanks get foreign politicos in town all the time. Of course Miliband wouldn’t have been noticed any more than the rest of them. That is except in the Post thanks to Sebbie, who (let it be repeated) is doing a fellowship there.

    • allymax bruce

      Like I said 2 years ago on here; ‘Fagins urchin’.

      • East London

        What charming anti-Semitism !

  • The Red Bladder

    These sorts of thing are perfectly normal. I understand that Nigel Farage is due to hold “talks” with the mayor of Dinwiddie, Virginia next week.

    • allymax bruce

      And on Sunday, I’ll mostly be wearing wellies.
      On Monday, I’ll mostly not be wearing wellies!

  • david trant

    Nothing new in that most Americans haven’t a clue about anything that isn’t American and most are pretty uninformed on even that. Only two British politicians have ever registered Thatcher and Blair and that is because both gave 100% support to the US. The sad thing is that British politicians look upon this sort of thing as a rite of passage, how much nicer it would be if one said, ‘Sorry got better things to do at home, I’ll wait until the Prez is in Europe and then he can pop in and see me, if he’s not too busy’

    Was amazed when discussing the US claim that the ‘Bill of Rights’ American Constitution, Declaration of Independence etc, were not anything as important in fact as the, ‘Rhode Island Charter’ signed by Charles II which abolished slavery, allowed freedom of worship and gave full legal rights to Indians, not a single American I’ve mentioned it too has ever heard of it.

    • GnosticBrian

      Did Churchill not register, even if ever so slightly?

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Ever heard of Winston Churchill laddie? I seem to recall he had a passing encounter with Franklin D Roosevelt but I forget the circumstances.

  • bugshead

    God, but Millipede does look such a f…….. berk in the pictures, like a student trying too hard to impress his tutor at university.

  • Colonel Mustard

    You stupid boy.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      +1,000,000

  • swatnan

    They’ll be sitting up and taking notice when Mr Ed walks into No 10 in 2015. The polls point that way. And the polls are hardly ever wrong, even in 1992.

    • Iodine

      But the polls were wrong in 1992. There was a 9% swing to the Tories.

      • swatnan

        probably in the last 24 hrs or so.
        Even Kinnock admitted he knew the game was up 3 days before, and yet still went ahead with the Sheffield Jamboree, because the venue and entertainments had already been booked.

      • East London

        That figure for the swing can’t mean since 1987. There was a Tory majority of about 100 in ’87 and about 30 in 1992

    • First L

      Sitting up and taking notice? They certainly will. A new communist country in Western Europe? Nukes ahoy.

  • anyfool

    I see the media is pushing the meeting was 25 minutes, it appears it was barely 25 seconds.
    Obama walked in, sat down, said hello, I gotta go, posed for the handshake, got up and walked out.
    That is the reason for the stunned look on their two gormless faces.

    • allymax bruce

      I’ve always said it, President Obama is a genius. There’s more to be said, on what hasn’t been said, than what has, been said. allymax.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Obama thinks he’s a genius. That’s the whole problem with him. He’s never held a real job, but he’s certain he’s a genius.

        • allymax bruce

          Being President of United States of America, I would say, is a real job. In-fact, ever since Truman ‘fantastically’ won the Presidency by coming second, being USA President is the most real, and difficult job in the world.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            No, it isn’t a real job, and those who have never held a real job have no business being president, no matter that they’ve been propped up to that position.

            You’re right about one thing though, being president is taxing, which is why your mate Obama appears to be drawing away from the fray… he’s not properly prepared for what’s required, and simply withdraws from it. Even his partisan mates now understand that this guy has closed the bunker door behind him, in Nixonian fashion.

    • StarTripper

      The meeting was short because Obama had to get back upstairs to watch ESPN. He had the DVR on pause.

  • Kitty MLB

    Oh dear.Miliband the goose who was supposed to lay Labour’s
    golden egg travels thousands of miles to have a little chat with
    the lame duck president.

    As said elsewhere this is like the men who surrounded Socrates
    hoping his wit and wisdom would rub off on them! but Obama
    is neither wise or witty.

    A pair of deluded, pointless and desperate fools who just prove how much this country has moved away from the leftie agenda.

    • southerner

      “…who just prove how much this country has moved away from the leftie agenda..”

      The country might have but the liblabcon hasn’t.

  • pointlesswasteoftime

    “If Miliband does become the next prime minister, both America and the DC political bubble will be scratching their heads wondering just who he is.”

    Of course they will, until they want something from us. They wondered who Tony Blair was until he went rushing to their side after the Twin Towers. If you asked the average American now who Cameron was, they would say he was a film director rather than UK Prime Minister.

    • Chingford Man

      Since our Cameron is also directing a disaster, at least they’re almost right.

  • http://owsblog.blogspot.com Span Ows

    It’s amusing to read the BBc report and “free flowing discussion” is mentioned 3 times in about 200 words…nothing like getting the stroy straight between excecutive and broadcast arms of the opposition.

    • Makroon

      Yes, and Payne’s piece is of the same ilk.
      Does anyone really believe this trivia will register with the electorate ?

    • Lord Dench

      Spot on. Here’s a bit more from the BBC report:

      “The Labour leader said the two had discussed issues including the crises in Ukraine and Gaza, during a meeting said to have lasted about 30 minutes.”

      “However, it had been widely trailed that Mr Miliband would have a “brush-by” encounter with the US President.”

      It reads exactly like a Labour press release (in fact, browsing through past Labour press releases have read like the political section of the BBC website). As Guido Fawkes’ pointed out, not only does Milliband look awkward in the official photo (which Labour themselves selected), but 30 minutes would give 6 minutes per subject.

      I would also point out that the BBC was the only news broadcaster to report that there was a Westminster Hall debate yesterday on making Eid and Diwali public holidays (despite it getting rejected, thank goodness, by the government beforehand, making the debate pointless)

      • Adam Carter

        Don’t you think it was a good thing that the BBC reported the petition to get Eid and Diwli made public holidays?
        If it’s not reported how can people oppose it.
        I heard the BBC report; there was nothing in there to suggest that having those festivals as public holidays was desirable.
        It was, however, a flawed and incomplete report. It didn’t say whether the petition was for Eid Al Fitr, Eid Al Hada, or both.

  • telemachus

    Cynical you all may be
    This demonstrates the knowledge in the Obama administration that this is the man who will be picking up the phone next May

    • Kitty MLB

      Miliband said to Obama ( emotional blackmail out of desperation ) That the US doesn’t need to worry, that he
      will stand up for the UK to stay in Europe.

      Socialists trying to manipulate for their own little grubby
      agenda.But he can be sure that the UK will stand up for
      herself and send Labour into electoral oblivion.
      The only phone call he will receive will be to say he’s fired.

      Oh and goodbye telemachus, allow others to have a say here, there’s a good chap.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Dear Kitty, please don’t feed the troll. His “comments” are contrived to provoke a “rise” so that he can disrupt the threads with inane and boastful Labour propaganda. He hates the fact that there are people who cannot be coerced to comply with nasty Lieborg groupthink and wants to control them.

      • Shazza

        Millibandwagon has forgotten that his paymasters, the unions, do not want to stay in the EU.

        He who pays the piper calls the tune………………….

      • Makroon

        The only thing Obama worries about these days is his golf-swing and Michelle – probably, in that order.

    • girondas2

      “This demonstrates the knowledge in the Obama administration that this is the man who will be picking up the phone next May”

      It demonstrates nothing of the sort. Miliband is a two-bit supplicant
      desperate to have his picture taken with “someone important”. He pleaded
      and begged and Obama gave him a few minutes – A comic version of The
      Godfather.
      The once great Labour Party- reduced to this – A joke.

    • First L

      You do know that the US’ tradition of giving 25 minutes to all opposition leaders means that Obama could be sitting down with Marine Le Pen next week? Or the opposition leaders of Germany, Spain, Italy, Lithuania. Who are they again?

    • Makroon

      Mili jnr is backing the lame-duck.
      His more savvy, but equally gormless bro’ has chummed up with La Clinton.
      Miliminor may soon be begging his bro’ for a letter of introduction.

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