The East Room News Conference between the leaders of the United States and the United Kingdom was one of the most important and somber I have attended in over 47 years of reporting. It dramatized the major threats facing the world in this era of fanatical terrorism. President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron have great body chemistry between them. The president calls him "Bro" and David, and the Prime Minister calls the President "Barack." The president even asked his friend to make phone calls to some top U.S. Senators urging them not to impose greater sanctions against Iran at this time. He also urged their support for cybersecurity cooperation between the two nations.
The men made some feeble jokes about the way they pronounce the English language, and about the wars they fought hundreds of years ago. But jokes could not hide the seriousness of threats to veto bills which might impose more sanctions against Iran at this time. But nothing is off the table -- including war -- if no nuclear agreement is reached.
Some of the sharpest differences included the way the men spoke about fanatical terrorism. President Obama is thoughtful and eloquent, but he can learn from the prime minister. Mr. Cameron spoke of "countering this poisonous, fanatical death cult of a narrative that is perverting the religion of Islam." President Obama claimed there is more assimilation in this country which gives it an advantage over Europe.
The leaders also spoke of the many challenges they face, including combating prejudice, disease, climate change, poverty, and many others. These and other topics will be raised in the State of the Union Address. President Obama may wish he had his "bro" beside him during the speech to a Congress which is largely in opposition to him.
Connie Lawn, in the White House East Room