|Sources close to the White House say Mr Obama and his staff have been "overwhelmed" by the economic meltdown and have voiced concerns that the new president is not getting enough rest.|
British officials, meanwhile, admit that the White House and US State Department staff were utterly bemused by complaints that the Prime Minister should have been granted full-blown press conference and a formal dinner, as has been customary. They concede that Obama aides seemed unfamiliar with the expectations that surround a major visit by a British prime minister.
But Washington figures with access to Mr Obama's inner circle explained the slight by saying that those high up in the administration have had little time to deal with international matters, let alone the diplomatic niceties of the special relationship.
Allies of Mr Obama say his weary appearance in the Oval Office with Mr Brown illustrates the strain he is now under, and the president's surprise at the sheer volume of business that crosses his desk.
A well-connected Washington figure, who is close to members of Mr Obama's inner circle, expressed concern that Mr Obama had failed so far to "even fake an interest in foreign policy".
But the other story which goes back to my point that Obama seems to treat traditional American allies like shit is proven on how people around him view them.
|But they concede that the mood music of the event was at times strained. Mr Brown handed over carefully selected gifts, including a pen holder made from the wood of a warship that helped stamp out the slave trade - a sister ship of the vessel from which timbers were taken to build Mr Obama's Oval Office desk. Mr Obama's gift in return, a collection of Hollywood film DVDs that could have been bought from any high street store, looked like the kind of thing the White House might hand out to the visiting head of a minor African state.|
Mr Obama rang Mr Brown as he flew home, in what many suspected was an attempt to make amends.
The real views of many in Obama administration were laid bare by a State Department official involved in planning the Brown visit, who reacted with fury when questioned by The Sunday Telegraph about why the event was so low-key.
The official dismissed any notion of the special relationship, saying: "There's nothing special about Britain. You're just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn't expect special treatment." The apparent lack of attention to detail by the Obama administration is indicative of what many believe to be Mr Obama's determination to do too much too quickly.
No excuses because if this is the sort of attitude that is in the White House now, he is going to cause an international incident along the way. If Obama and others are overwhelmed the best thing to do is slow down and take stock on what is going on around them before its too late.
But given the state department source statement about nothing special about Britain, this could be all a smokescreen that Obama really doesn't give a damn about our allies and is just arrogant along with his aides. But it showed up so much in Brown's visit they are now covering their asses.
Either choice is an embarrassment to him.