According to US President Barack Obama, the search for the host of next year’s White House correspondents’ dinner is over. Step forward Lars Løkke Rasmussen.
The Danish PM was in fine form at a state dinner for the five leaders of the Nordic nations at the White House on May 13, rattling off a series of one-liners.
First he ribbed the President about his tendency to repeatedly use the same expression talking about the Nordic nations.
“The first time you invited me into the Oval Office, Mr President, you said that Denmark is punching above our weight. It made me proud,” he told those gathered.
“Now some six years later I understand that not only Denmark, but all the Nordic countries are punching above their weight?”
Fond of the Donald
Rasmussen then switched his attention to the country’s most famous man. “I have something to admit. I’m very fond of the Donald too,” he said.
“I support him as a president. He’s pretty smart, shows great leadership skills, a true visionary. And I’m, of course, talking about Donald Tusk, who is president of the European Council.”
It was timely as Rasmussen met Tusk on Tuesday to discuss handling of the challenges facing the EU, including the refugee crisis and the Russia/Ukraine conflict, after which the pair travelled to Greenland to examine the consequences of climate change in the Arctic.
Not so much of Karl
Back to the White House and there was more as Rasmussen paid tribute to the many Americans of Nordic heritage originating from the gene pools of Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland.
“And the Norwegians – well, they gave you Karl Rove,” he added in reference to the Republican political consultant.
Our friends in the north
In serious business, the US and Nordic nations agreed to step up co-operation in the areas of security, development and aid, jobs, growth and trade, energy, climate and the Arctic, and migration and refugees.
“Around the world America’s closest partners are democracies. And we only need to look at our Nordic friends to see why,” Obama said in his speech.
“We share the same interests and values. We believe that our citizens have the right to live in freedom and security. In their own region and the world, the Nordic countries are a model of