As Pete notes, Brown’s Wall Street Journal op-ed is hardly likely to make any American mist up—as Tony Blair’s speeches so often did. But something that Brown said recently, did demonstrate—albeit unintentionally—the strength of the special relationship.
Brown’s decision to not attend the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics transformed the US debate on the subject—before it Obama and McCain wouldn’t commit on the question, after it they would. Admittedly, this was partly because Hillary Clinton—who was advocating such a step—seized on Brown’s statement. But it was also because there was a general feeling that, to borrow a phrase, Britain and America share a moral compass; that if the British aren’t going then maybe it’s not the right thing to do. It is these shared values that ensure that the special relationship will survive the odd, inevitable rocky patch.