Come on Barack! Make a date with Portsmouth

LAWRENCE MURPHY: A worthy alternative to roasties?

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Obama in Portsmouth. Take a moment, say it again. Obama in Portsmouth.

Sounds good doesn’t it?

And that’s why we’re right behind the city council’s ambitious bid to bring the iconic US President to the city for next year’s D-Day commemorations.

It’s hard to exaggerate what a boon it would be were he to say yes. Not only would businesses benefit from far and wide because of the number of people who would want to come to the city but the kudos it would bring would be priceless.

Yes, it would be for a sombre purpose – to commemorate D-Day in which many, many lives were lost, but it would still bring with it an enormous feelgood factor to Portsmouth.

And pride. There are already lots of reasons why Portmuthians are proud of their city – its naval heritage, its football club, the spirit of the people to name but three – but this would be on another level.

For those of you that remember the excitement that surrounded the visit of the then President Bill Clinton, this would pale in comparison.

Obama’s the rock star of politics. And for him to bring some of that magic to Portsmouth would be fantastic.

So we applaud the council for its ambition and join them with their fingers crossed that it’s good news when the answer comes back from Washington.

In tandem with the potential Obama visit is the potential to be named National Armed Forces city for 2014.

The city’s bid is in but we agree with seafront manager David Evans.

Who can compete with what we have to offer?

The city’s got the obvious naval link but besides that it’s backed by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

And whether it’s history and heritage or a modern city and all that goes with it, we have it all. So we hope you’ll join us in hoping both these end in a positive result for Portsmouth.