Senators’ visit shows bid to bring Obama to city is on

Mo Farrah after missing out on a gold medal
				 Picture: Adam Davy

VERITY LUSH: Leave me to browse the make-up counter in peace

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There may have been a few doubters when Portsmouth City Council last month announced its intentions to bring Barack Obama to the city for next year’s D-Day commemorations.

But this weekend’s visit to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard by a select group of American senators shows the bid to entice the US President to the south coast is more than just a dream.

The fact that members of the British-American Parliamentary Group chose to hold their annual meeting in Portsmouth – with the US delegation keen to see the home of the Royal Navy – shows our great city is very much in their sights.

Crucially, included in Saturday’s visit was Senator Patrick J Leahy – the man who is third in line to the Presidency.

We have no doubt he would have been impressed with what he saw in Portsmouth.

And now it is hoped Senator Leahy can put in a good word to the main man in the White House and convince President Obama to follow Bill Clinton’s example from 1994 by coming to the city to mark D-Day commemorations.

Penny Mordaunt certainly believes this weekend’s visit by American dignitaries has enhanced the council’s chances of succeeding in their attemps to lure President Obama.

The Portsmouth North MP enjoyed dinner with the senators and joined them for their tour of the dockyard.

She feels confident they ‘will go back and be pretty evangelical about what they have seen here’.

Of course, there is plenty of work still to be done to get a firm ‘yes’ from Washington.

But the proposition of the iconic US President coming to Portsmouth to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day remains an exciting one, with the undoubted kudos it would bring.

And we will back the council every step of the way in the hope that President Obama could be standing in front of HMS Victory itself come June 5 next year.

So can we bring Barack to the city?

This weekend has given us the answer: Yes we can.