U.S. President Barack Obama received PM David Cameron this morning with a 19 gun salute and Fife and Drum performance on the lawn of the White House. With his poll numbers dropping precipitously into the unfavorable range in the U.S. and abroad, the President followed the performance with a public apology. The President's frequent apologies for U.S. behavior have proven a poll booster in foreign lands, but have generally not been received well at home.
This time, Mr. Obama's sought atonement for his unseemly 2009 return of a bust of Winston Churchill. The bronze art treasure was loaned to the White House after the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. When the Brits offered this President the opportunity to keep it for four more years, they received an unceremonious "Thanks, but no thanks."
As a token of conciliation, Mr. Obama presented PM Cameron with a 24K gold plated, life-size statue of himself. His metallic likeness stands erect, with head thrown back slightly, and his right arm thrust forward with the index finger pointed straight ahead. As it was unveiled, he was heard to quietly tell the PM, "And you don't need to return this one. It yours. I've got plenty more where it came from."