Barack Obama is a "decidedly liberal" senator "who was finding his feet, and then got diverted by his presidential ambitions", according to a frank verdict delivered to Gordon Brown by the British ambassador to the United States. Web Link
"Sir Nigel traces the ambition of Mr Obama, 47, to reach the White House right back to his 20s or before. "He has talked at least since the 1980s about a shot at the Presidency."
He also identifies several political vulnerabilities that Sen McCain will seek to exploit in the last month of his campaign against the Illinois senator. The leaked letter will provide him with welcome ammunition.
Mr Obama "can seem to sit on the fence, assiduously balancing pros and cons", Sir Nigel wrote, and "does betray a highly educated and upper middle class mindset". Charges of elitism "are not entirely unfair" and he is "maybe aloof, insensitive" at times.
"He can talk too dispassionately for a national campaign about issues which touch people personally, eg his notorious San Francisco comments [in April] about small-town Pennsylvanians 'clinging' to guns and religion."