Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 06:18 | SYDNEY
Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 06:18 | SYDNEY

\'America has no better friend than [insert country here]\'


Sam Roggeveen


12 January 2011 12:03

The UK Daily Mail is getting all worked up over this Barack Obama quote:

Mr Obama said: 'We don’t have a stronger friend and stronger ally than Nicolas Sarkozy, and the French people.'

Apparently this is an affront to the British people and a blow to the US-UK 'special relationship'.

It's really not as serious as all that. The 'no better/stronger friend' formulation has been used pretty liberally by this Administration and the one that came before. Crikey drew up a handy list last November. It's actually quite an artful bit of phrasing which makes the recipient feel special while saying slightly less than they might first think.

But for Obama to then add 'stronger ally' does elevate things a little. As a presidential candidate, Obama was a bit flaky on the subject of alliances. So maybe he misspoke.