Uh, maybe the Obama should have asked some grownups like VP Biden or SOS Clinton about this before listening to Axlerod. The worst part is that maybe he did.
Downing St left embarrassed after President Obama scales down first meeting with Brown
Downing Street was left scrambling to avoid a diplomatic embarrassment today after the White House ruled out a formal press conference to mark Gordon Brown's first formal meeting with Barack Obama.
Officials denied the Prime Minister was being snubbed after it emerged that the new president would not make himself available for the traditional joint appearance before the White House media.
Mr Brown's aides are trying to make the best of what is a distinctly low key visit compared to the family hospitality lavished on Tony Blair by George Bush when they met for the first time.
Just because being nice to one of our best and most forthright allies has worked well in the past doesn't mean the Obama feels it's necessary now. He is change. Change is him. No reason our foreign relationships shouldn't go south as fast as our economy.
He added he would like to think his relationship with Mr Brown was 'terrific' and stressed his personal links with Britain through his mother's family.
Yeah, if those personal links are so important, how about an Ambassadorship to Scotland, Wales or Prussia for me. You know, because of my Momma. He was joshing us right? Please tell me was.
'The notion that there's any lessening of the special relationship with Britain is nonsense,' he said.
The fact that he had to say this should tell him something about his approach to foreign affairs.
Behind Mr Obama's shoulder was the bust of his hero Abraham Lincoln which replaced a bronze of Winston Churchill presented by Tony Blair to his predecessor George Bush and removed shortly after the new president took office.
Downing Street hopes their talks will extend beyond the relatively modest 90 minutes allocated for their meetings and a private lunch in the White House.
Apart from a separate meeting with Vice President Joe Biden, there are no other events planned.
The Obamas are not holding a dinner for the Browns, and the Prime Minister will not be hosting a reception or dinner at the British embassy.
Mr Brown will present the president with a pen-stand made of timber from HMS Gannett, a Royal Navy ship that served on anti-slavery patrol in the 19th century.
Yep, 90 minutes of chat and that's it. Cross the Atlantic, get lunch and 90 minutes. I hope the Obama cherishes the pen stand.