In case anyone thinks that I only ever post negative comments about Gordon Brown (not so, as you can see HERE ), I do agree with today’s positive assessment of his D-Day performance by Clark Judge, a former Reagan speechwriter:
‘Today, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was by far the most eloquent and most appropriate, at least to this American’s ear. More purely than the others, he captured the transcendent significance of the moment — the legacy of sacrifice for an enduring cause that ennobled and continues to ennoble the world. At stake was something larger than one country, one moment, one fight, something beyond time and place, something on which all of time would turn, and he captured that.
‘The others were good, though each with an ever so slightly bemusing touch of the parochial. Was a ceremony marking heroic exertions made in alliance with Britain really the right occasion for a US president to invoke Lexington and Concord? And didn’t the soldiers of all the countries engaged that day, not just Canadians (the only focus of the Canadian PM’s account of the post-war world), return home to build, not just a better country, but a better world? And didn’t the men who hit the beaches in 1944 fight for something beyond national vengeance and personal survival, though from the repeated references in the French president’s remarks you might have thought otherwise’ (see Podium Pundits for fuller version).
President Obama came nowhere near matching Ronald Reagan’s masterpiece on the 40th anniversary of D-Day (HERE), and, as Clark Judge notes, the references to battles in the American war of independence did seem a bit barmy in the presence of a distinguished British contingent that included a direct descendent (Prince Charles) of the king against whom they were rebelling.