Brown Downplays US Fissure

New PM will visit Camp David, insists he isn't 'America's poodle'
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2007 1:13 PM CDT
Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown delivers a speech at the Labour Party National Policy Forum in London, Saturday July 14, 2007. On Friday, newspaper reports in Britain suggested a speech by International...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Britain's new Prime Minister is set to meet with President Bush at Camp David next week amid rumors that relations between the two nations have cooled since Tony Blair's departure. Brown is walking a tightrope between rebuffing this speculation and being seen as "America's poodle," an epithet Blair earned for his close collaboration with Bush.

"Brown has no 'poodle' baggage, no one's ever thought of him as a poodle," said an American scholar. Nor will he and Bush be "joined together at the hip," one of his appointees says. The talks will cover an array of issues from climate change to Iraq, a contentious subject that analysts say helped sink Brown's predecessor.