Obama 'Aloof'

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 7, 2008 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Obama 'Aloof'

Byline: James Morrison, THE WASHINGTON TIMES


The British ambassador in Washington called Sen. Barack Obama aloof and decidedly liberal but also pragmatic and smart in a letter to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, which was leaked to the press in London last week.

Obama's politics and policies are still evolving, Ambassador Nigel Sheinwald said, in his assessment of the Democratic presidential candidate, adding that Mr. Obama's terms in the Illinois Senate and U.S. Senate give us only a few clues as to his likely priorities in office.

His voting record was decidedly liberal. But the main impression is of someone who was finding his feet and then got diverted by his presidential ambitions.

Mr. Sheinwald's candid evaluation of Mr. Obama created a stir in London when the Daily Telegraph first reported on the letter last week. However, his analysis of a candidate in a U.S. presidential election is fairly typical of private diplomatic correspondence between foreign ambassadors and their political leaders.

The letter was written in July to help Mr. Brown prepare for his meeting with Mr. Obama, who stopped in the British capital on his summer European tour.

Mr. Sheinwald noted Mr. Obama's lack of experience, saying, If elected, he would have less of a track record than any recent president.

However, he added, Mr. Obama is intellectually smart, cerebral and noted that his meteoric rise from freshman senator to the Democratic presidential candidate began with his mesmerizing speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004.

The charge of elitism, however, is not entirely unfair, Mr. Sheinwald wrote, citing Mr. Obama's notorious comments at a private fundraiser in San Francisco, where he referred to some small-town Pennsylvania voters as clinging to their guns and religion.


The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Obama 'Aloof'


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?