Valérie André, Aix Marseille Université, LERMA, OREMA, Aix-en-Provence, France
The results of the 2020 US presidential election sent the British media into a frenzy of anticipation over the state of the special relationship. The news that Boris Johnson was among the first world leaders to have received a phone call from the President-elect was received with a sigh of relief, even if it didn’t entirely assuage all fears. The level of anxiety had been running especially high as the British Prime Minister was deemed to have enjoyed an exceptionally close personal relationship with Donald Trump. Memories of Boris Johnson’s hobnobbing with the President at international conferences, of Donald Trump’s public support for Johnson’s bid for the leadership of the Conservative party in the summer of 2019 and for a tougher stance in the Brexit negotiations, as well as of all the swagger and bluster on either side of the Atlantic, were seen as millstones round the Prime Minister’s neck which would drag him – and the United Kingdom – down to the bottom of the queue. The similarities between the leaders’ personal and political lives, two insiders running as outsiders, mavericks who had risen to the top of their own parties through pandering to the tastes of the rank and file and of an unusual electoral base, the echoing political slogans “America First” and “Take Back Control”, the readiness to resort to ‘alternative facts’, all could conspire to wrongfoot the British Prime Minister. If the tide had turned with Joe Biden’s victory it was feared that Boris Johnson would be left on the wrong side of history, in the company of those ‘strong leaders’ Donald Trump had taken a liking to.Continuer la lecture de Anglo-American relations 2.0: pressing the reset button?