In London, Obama Lowers Expectations, Explains Secret To Clear Thinking

(LONDON) Despite spending over a week visiting a total of seven countries and meeting with over a dozen leaders, Barack Obama does not believe that he will immediately reap any political benefits from the trip.

Standing in front of 10 Downing Street after his meeting with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Obama said, "You know, I wouldn't even be surprised if that in some polls that you saw a little bit of a dip as a consequence."

The overseas trip has been widely viewed as his campaign's efforts to beef up Obama's image when it comes to foreign policy and national security. He has been lambasted by his opponents who argue the junior Senator from Illinois does not have sufficient experience to deal with current global crises. However, after a weeks worth of meetings and photo ops, the campaign hopes to quiet down some of the criticism.

Today, Obama appeared to turn his focus back to the domestic front, explaining that the overseas trip was intended to show American voters that there is a strong need for allies and partnerships in the world.

"The reason that I thought this trip was important was I am convinced that many of the issues that we face at home are not gonna be solved as effectively unless we have strong partners abroad," Obama said. He also wanted leaders abroad to get a better sense of what an Obama administration's foreign policy would look like.

John McCain has argued that the trip represents a "premature victory lap", but Obama refuted the comment, noting that his opponent urged him to travel overseas.

"He suggested it, thought it was a good idea," Obama said. He stressed that McCain has also traveled to countries like Canada, Colombia, and Mexico after becoming the presumptive Republican nominee.

Later, during a meeting with Tory leader David Cameron, Obama was given a bit of advice as he wraps up his globetrotting tour.

"You should be on the beach... You need a break," Cameron said. "You need to be able to keep your head together... Do you have a break at all?"

Obama responded, saying he's going to take a week off next month and added some advice he had heard from someone who worked in the Clinton White House.

"The most important thing you need to do is to have big chunks of time during the day when all you're doing is thinking," Obama said. Otherwise, he added, "you start making mistakes or you lose the big picture."

Cameron agreed, "That is exactly what politics is all about. The judgment you bring to make decisions."

Obama then explained that delegating to people around him is the real key.

"The truth is that we've got a bunch of smart people I think who know ten times more than we do about the specifics of the topic and so if what you're trying to do is micromanage and solve everything then you end up being a dilettante but you have to have enough knowledge to make good judgments about the choices that are presented to you," said Obama.
  • Maria Gavrilovic

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