US president could barely raise a pulse as he stumbled through his script This wasn’t the way it had been meant to be. When Theresa May had invited the US president for a state visit, she had pictured herself standing next to him as almost an equal. The prime minister who had delivered Brexit, now poised to negotiate a free trade deal with America. Two leaders ready to the carve up the world in their own image. Instead she was now barely even a supplicant. More like a woman without a shadow. The woman who wasn’t really there, at the press conference no one really wanted. The point at which politics disintegrates into existential ennui. Shortly after 2pm, May and Donald Trump took up their positions at the two lecterns set up in the Durbar Court of the Foreign Office. The prime minister spoke first. She tried to sound upbeat, but her voice rarely strayed beyond a flat monotone. She may still have a few weeks left in No 10, but mentally she has checked out already. The epitome of demob unhappy.
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