London, England (CNN) - As Britons head to the polls Thursday in what is clearly a historic election, comparisons to the 2008 U.S. presidential race are everywhere: from intense voter interest, to candidate debates and references to telegenic politicians.
But no comparison may be more unexpected than that made on the front page of The Sun, a Fleet Street newspaper, which borrowed the iconic Barack Obama "Hope" campaign poster to endorse Conservative David Cameron. Cameron's image graces the newspaper with the message, "Our Only Hope" and underscores the strange bedfellow relationship that has developed between Cameron and President Obama.
(View the full image of The Sun's front page after the jump)
Cameron and Obama are hardly ideological soul mates, as Obama's Democratic Party is by and large liberal, while Cameron's Tory party is conservative. But the two men have more in common than you might think. Cameron is relying on strategic advice from two well-known American political consultants, Anita Dunn and Bill Knapp. Dunn and Knapp were key advisors to Obama during his successful presidential bid and Dunn went on to work as the White House communications director for a period of time before returning to the private sector.
And British commentators have repeatedly compared Cameron's campaign style to that of Obama. On the final day of campaigning, Cameron dragged the media to a fish and chips restaurant in Scotland where he promptly purchased 26 meals for his campaign staff and the media. Virtually every commentator called the move distinctly Obama-like.
Pre-election polls had Cameron's Conservative Party in the lead, but perhaps not far enough ahead to win an outright majority of the seats in Parliament.
CNN will reveal exit polling at 5 p.m. ET on the Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.
View the full front page of The Sun is below:
At least they know where their canidate came from.
You failed to mention that Conservative in England is probably Moderate to Slightly Left Of Center in the US. The Republican party is so so so far to the right of Cameron. I'd expect CNN to know this.
One should realize that "conservative" in European lexicon is still far more liberal than the American liberal.
Just one word for England: Thatcher!
New ideas. Get new ideas, not rehashing stuff that Obama did and by the way you "slammed" him for in the first place. You look clueless.
Warning to the UK........Obama has been a disaster.
Socially comparing the Socialist European Union to our country or President? It definitely makes sense.
By the way, are there any British people working with you guys? Tell em to get the heck out of counry.
Cameron is not Barack. Not even close.
Hopefully the Britons aren't gullible enough to elect him like we elected Obama here. They'll regret it later just like we are now.
Cameron too knows that President Obama is "Our Only Hope" and he like the rest of the world know George W. Bush left our country in a terrible mess.
this isn't news...it's "what can we say good about Obama today?" liberal proganda....
As a British voter, I can assure you that Cameron and Obama have very little in common. There is outrage in Britain about the Sun newspaper's front page. Spoofs have been appearing on the internet all day, most commonly substituting 'Nope' for 'Hope'.
Cameron plans to bring back fox-hunting and give a tax break to the richest 3000 families of £200,000 (about $300,000). He also plans savage cuts which could derail Britain's economic recovery and decimate our public services.
Only about a third of voters are expected to vote Conservative, but under our first-past-the-post system, that could be enough to secure him victory.
Progressives and Liberals are hoping against hope that Cameron does not win this election. He would be a disaster for the UK.
Obama cannot have a conservative soulmate. He doesn't have a soul!
It is deeply regretable that the UK decided to follow in the footsteps of American elections. They have turned a serious thing into the commercialized dog and pony show we have here.
Regardless of your political affiliation have a look at campaign ads from the past 2 decades. not a shred of substance ever. Hideous lies about the opponent and vagaries from the candidates is about all we tend to get.
(livingroomcandidate.org) has political ads going back to 1952. A really excellent website. Check it out. Entertaining and informative.
This just goes to show that labels rarely define people. I think everyone wants to be represented by an intelligent person.
I would not want to be compared to Obama. He is without a doubt one of the worst presidents we have ever had the misfortune to live under.
He is nothing more that a snake-oil salesman in a shark-skin suit.
Hey, I didn't vote for Obama, but
if I were running for office I would
sure pattern my campaign after
his. Obama may be a rookie but
he surely is a winner.
"Obama's Democratic Party is by and large liberal"?? Are you kidding with that? This is the most liberal bunch to come down the pike since FDR.
And what was it that the commentators thought was Obama-like? Did he forget to tip?
Did he order the 26 meals for his staff and the media, and then have it paid for the someone else?
He's learned the style, but certainly not the substance. Like most other (usually successful) politicians, he just wants to get elected. The danger here is that this usually sensible country will now be dragged into several reactionary Bush Jr kind of years, simply through being tired of the old. Time will tell.
"by someone else", not "the someone else". My bad.
Cameron dragged the media to a fish and chips restaurant in Scotland where he promptly purchased 26 meals for his campaign staff and the media. Virtually every commentator called the move distinctly Obama-like.
The only true di-stink-tly Obama feature of this will be that he will turn the receipt in for tax payers to pick up the meal!
A conservative in Europe would typically be a liberal or moderate over here in the US. We are far more right-leaning as a country.
PLEASE - don't buy the spin, CNN. Cameron's from the top echelons of upper-class Britain and hasn't had to work for anything in his life. Obama rose from nowhere to the presidency from the most improbable beginnings, simply on the strength of his intelligence and character. If you're looking for a comparison to Cameron, try Bush II in 2000. The "compassionate conservatism" shtick Cameron pedals is straight out of the Bush 2000 campaign playbook and just as sincere.
It makes sense that a right-wing tabloid rag like the Sun owned by Rupert Murdoch (also incidentally the owner of Faux News) is trying to swing a victory for Cameron on Obama's coat-tails, but after several years of trying to convince the British public that the Conservatives have "changed," they still don't trust Cameron, whereas Obama's the most trusted statesman in America (and perhaps the world) today. The fact that Cameron can't even scrape a majority government together against one of the most (unjustly in my opinion) disliked prime minsters in British history tells you all you need to know about the success of his campaign.
Cameron shows he took time to study Pres. Obama's style of campaigning. He might emerge winning many seats but less than 326 which are essential to command the majority in the Parliament. This election is giving headache not only to the Candidates but also to voters!
The British have lost their countries to Labour's absurd PC hand-wringing and utter cowardice in the face of waves of migrants who are overtly hostile to British (and, indeed, Western) culture. Here's hoping for a Tory/BNP coalition.
And before Americans start with any ridiculous comparisons between British Labour's nanny state and the Obama administration, just stop. There IS no rational comparison between the two.