It appears that the British Ambassador to the US wrote a briefing to PM Gordon Brown about Barack Obama when Barack was making his world tour. This has been leaked to the British Press (The Daily Telegraph) after instructions in the letter were to keep the contents quiet. In it, he gives a stark and frank assessment about the Senator including:
Barack Obama would the least experienced President in recent history.
Barack Obama is arrogant and aloof.
I am listing some of the more juicy highlights below and you can read the full text of the memo here.
The British Ambassador had the following assessments about Barack Obama:
* “He is already the most successful black elected politician in American history, to the discomfort of Jesse Jackson and others;” This seems to say that the traditional Black Leadership are uncomfortable with Obama’s success.
* “He resists pigeon-holing. People disagree about how sincere his post-partisanship is, and how successful his attempts to reach across the aisle would be, given his mixed record in the Senate;” The Ambassador appears to doubt the veriacity and success of Barack Obama’s bi-partisanship.
* He says that Obama can be aloof and dispassionate at times, most notably with comments like the “guns and religion” comment. Also, charges of “elitiism” leveled by Clinton and McCain were “not entirely unfair”. He attributes to Obama a higher education and upper class mindset.
* Obama does have energetic lows and can be uninspiring at times, most notably during debates.
* He is highly ambitious and has talked since the 1980’s about being President.
* He demands “no dramas” from the people around him. (That makes the VP pick of Joe Biden more and more suspect.)
* The ambassador says that Obama has been very lucky in politics with his early opponents being fundamentally flawed. He was also lucky in how poorly Hillary Clinton’s campaign was organized and slow to react to his looming threat.
* Barack’s policies are still not set and are changing even during the campaign. “But the main impression is of someone who was finding his feet, and then got diverted by his Presidential ambitions.”
* ” If elected, Obama would have less of a track record than any recent President. Carter would be the nearest, but even he had four years as a Governor.”
* The ambassador says that despite 4 years in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with regular attendance for 2 of those years, there is little track record to go on.
* There are potential divisions within the Democratic Party with his nomination.
* Barack Obama has less experience than John McCain.
* He worries about Obama’s desire for unconditional meetings with terrorist nations and how this plan relates to the UN mandate calling for Iran to stop nuclear development before talks beginning.
* The Middle Eastern Peace Plan would be a low priority for Barack Obama.