I'll hand it to Cameron: he's very good at the PR. The barbecue in the garden of Number 10- with Obama dishing out burgers- was very, very feelgood. It reminded me of the love-in with Clegg in the same venue a year ago. Only then it was Cameron doing all the alpha-male patting and now it was Obama. At one point- after the photo-call on the doorstep of No 10- Obama guided Cameron into his own house- as if he- Obama- were the host and not the other way round. I wonder whether this ritual of patronage and submission- the top dog does the touching, the underdog allows himself to be touched- is something they perform consciously.
So now we have a new word for the Transatlantic relationship. It is no longer merely "special", it is "essential". I wonder whether this rebranding will catch on.