What was Obama thinking about Blair?

“I want to thank my good friend Tony Blair for coming today, somebody who did it first and perhaps did it better than I will do. He has been an example for so many people around the world of what dedicated leadership can accomplish. And we are very grateful to him.”

What “dedicated leadership”did Obama have in mind from Tony Blair? Might it have been by any chance the GFA – more in tune with Obama than the Iraq war he famously opposed? Or was it just Obama schmooze? Don’t write Tony Blair off , warns Martin Kettle in the Guardian. He won the race to the Obama White House and he’s not even PM anymore. Those 31 references to God may have been a bond e.g ..

“Restoring religious faith to its rightful place as a guide to our world and its future is of the essence.” “In surrendering to God we become instruments of his love”.

. So may be is his role as the Quartet’s envoy to the Middle East, where he may meet up again with George Mitchell, newly installed again as US envoy. Important though not to overrate the mediation powers of these retired politicians, as Ed Moloney reminds us in a magisterial piece in the Jerusalem Post.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

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