Peter Hoskin

Press conference shock: Brown and Obama will do “whatever is necessary”

Press conference shock: Brown and Obama will do "whatever is necessary"
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Brown and Obama's joint press conference sure was a slog.  For all his polish when it comes to setpiece speeches, Obama waffles on when questioned - and Brown's probably even worse.  Downing Street will be pleased enough, though.  The US President seemed to go out of his way to refer to his "personal friendship" with "Gordon".  And at one point he even claimed: "I agree with everything Gordon's said".  No DVD-related snubs here, then.

As for actual substance, there was very little.  Perhaps the most revealing moment was when Brown got a little flustered over a question on Britain's capacity for a fiscal stimulus; rattled on about fiscal stimuli that have already been introduced acorss the world; and ended with something like, "You'll see the culmination of this in tomorrow's communiqué, with a figure of around $2 trillion".  That's the number which appeared in the leaked, draft communiqué at the weekend, and Downing Street were forced to admit that that included fiscal measures that have already been taken by G20 countries.  It just shows how keen Brown is to spin his "whatever it takes" narrative, that this is being treated as a centrepiece of tomorrow's activity.