I wrote in today’s FT about the split in the Tory party between those support Mitt Romney, and think the party should generally support the Republicans, and those who see Barack Obama as the kind of popular centrist David Cameron should be.
But who does the PM himself back? It was suggested in 2008 that he was backing John McCain for the presidency in that year, after praising the Republican’s courage in refusing to advocating protectionist policies. Cameron was certainly delighted when McCain addressed the Tory party conference in 2006, and the PM’s advisers say the two men got on well.
But Cameron’s friends say that privately, he actually backed Obama in 2008. Certainly some around him did: as Nick Boles, the Cameroon Tory backbencher puts it:
George W. Bush’s bombastic return to the world stage has reminded me of my favourite Bush anecdote, which for various reasons we couldn’t publish at the time. Some of the witnesses still dine out on it.
The venue was the Oval Office. A group of British dignitaries, including Gordon Brown, were paying a visit. It was at the height of the 2008 presidential election campaign, not long after Bush publicly endorsed John McCain as his successor.