Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Why is David Cameron going on Air Force One?

The media ahead of David Cameron's visit to America, starting today, has been dominated by the itinerary including the news the prime minister will join President Obama on Air Force One. This is the first time a foreign leader has joined the president on the jet and is necessary as the two leaders will fly together to Ohio - a crucial swing state in this year's presidential election - to watch a game of basketball.

The question in my mind is why is David Cameron getting this special treatment? That is in no way to belittle the prime minister, it is just that in election year in the US every major occasion such as this must be seen through the prism of the election.

I would love to know what the White House polling says that has driven this decision; are the Ohio voters rabid anglophiles or does Obama's standing as a world leader need propping up? Obama is well known to be a basketball fan and enjoys shooting hoops as a way to keep fit so this visit must be aimed at a different demographic or voter group, but who?  

Hopefully one of Cameron's team will ask the question during the trip as it is the kind of positioning that will be needed in the run up to 2015.

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