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.Those words – and they are pretty remarkable words – point to only one conclusion. They say that Obama takes Blair seriously as a centre-left leader. Perhaps what he takes seriously is merely Blair's mastery of political rhetoric and communications skills rather than his policy record – why else, some might argue, would a politician who has become president because of his opposition to the Iraq war be at ease with one who was intimately involved in waging it? But perhaps the words say something deeper. Perhaps they also say that Obama grasps that Blair's experience can have lessons for other centre-left leaders like himself who are trying to sustain coalitions of support and carry out effective political leadership in countries (of which the US and the UK are certainly two) where the record of past failure is greater than the record of past success.
Not my deduction - comes from the Grauniad