April 1st, 2009
06:44 PM ET

In London – little gifts, big stakes

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/01/art.queen.2.jpg caption="President Obama And The First Lady Meet The Queen of England."]
Anderson Cooper
AC360° Anchor

Driving through the nighttime streets of London, President Obama's motorcade just passed us by. After all the demonstrations today, the streets seem pretty quiet. More protests are planned for tomorrow, of course.

The President held meetings with a number of world leaders. Tonite we'll be telling you what came out of them, particularly his meeting with Russia's president.

Mr. and Mrs. Obama met with the Queen as well. In the British papers, Michelle Obama is getting almost as much attention as her husband, and there is much discussion about the gifts that everyone is exchanging.

For the sake of all our economies, let's hope more comes out of this summit than just a traditional trading of presents.

We'll be live in London tonite, by the Tower Bridge with all the latest on the President and Mrs. Obama on their first European trip.

soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Lori from IL

    Anderson –

    I really enjoyed your broadcast from London — the setting was perfect.

    While I, too, hope something substantive comes out of this summit, I think it may take a while to really tell. It’s hard to get 20 people to all agree — but the face to face large meetings typically lead to more meetings, typically with smaller work groups or individuals. Some of this has already happened today with President Obama’s meetings with Russian and Chinese leaders — future visits to the individual countries are now being planned.

    And, yes, a lot of fuss is made over the “little gifts,” but lets face it — this is protocol and it’s often the little things that we find fascinatig and humanizing.

    Hope you get a chance to enjoy your time in London

    April 2, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  2. robyn caffrey keyser west virginia

    att : anderson
    i knew they would have the spot lights on them .
    they really did great

    and i watched the londen morning news at 5:00 am
    now i know more that everything will be ojk when ( gorden brown spoke .

    yes we can ya know anderson i didnt know, but my husband told me , when the bush was here , gorden and him wouldnt eaven see " eye to eye "

    April 2, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  3. Nadege

    Stay focused on the important issues no matter what you do:
    No.1- How to boost the economy? make sure everyone buys American! How? Get the Queen an Ipod, and make sure all other leaders want one too; hence, every one from the G20 will get an ipod!
    Way to go!

    April 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  4. nancy

    @Norma April 1st, 2009 7:32 pm ET

    "They didn’t teach Mrs Obama not to touch the Queen
    For the dinner tonight, does she own a JACKET?
    Thanks, Norma"

    What are you the Ettiquet & Fashion police? 🙂

    April 2, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  5. Mike Syracuse, NY

    Pauline, just remember that the war was authorized by a bipartisan vote of Congress (including yes votes by Hillary, Biden and Kerry). Also every penny spent was also authorized by a bipartisan vote of Congress to approve the budget. For the last 2 years (and 2 biggest annual deficits) Congress was controlled by the Democrtats including your hero Obama. Also, every penny spent on the wars was voted on and is public record. No one lied about it. True that most of the spending was in war supplemental budgets, which Obama promised to end, but is doing this year again despite his promise. Face it, Bush may have been President, but all 535 members of Congress have thier fingerprints on this mess.

    April 2, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  6. Peter Maree

    Anderson, I second Dee from CT. Just however wanted to say Thabo Mbeki is not the current president in the picture you analyzed last night. It's the new president Petrus Mutgatlhe ( not sure the last spelling) but a FYI. Have fun with Richard.

    April 2, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  7. Dee from CT

    Anderson, I adored seeing you and Richard last night ... or was it early this morning ... both I suppose. I loved the way you interacted ... and as a benefit I got to see the more humorous side of you – which is always a welcomed sight! Thank you for a great report from that side of the pond, and, Anderson, I'm sure you'll find haggis somewhere – not too sure on how I feel about oatmeal though ... being from Portugal we prefer ours stuffed with rice (at least in the area I am from) ... better consistency I believe. Of course I never have had haggis, so ...

    April 2, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  8. Pauline Green

    Anderson Cooper, didn’t do a daily vetting of the Bush Administration, when he was spending $3Trillion of our money on the Iraqi war. President Barack Obama, know there no easy solutions to the mess that the Republicans got us into.

    For God sake he only be in power for a 4 months. Just give it a rest, with your bad mouthing of our President and make him do his job. Did the Bush Administration have a new Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board NO.

    It’s was the Republicans that got us in this problem in the first place with their overspending on two wars which Mr Cooper never covered I wonder why?

    Also Bush, lied about how many trillions he was spending on the Iraqi war. Al Queda is in Afghanistan and not in Iraqi and the Bush Administration knew this from the being.

    April 2, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  9. Cherisa

    Jolly good show last night. It's always interesting to get perspective on our situations from across the pond. Now that the formalities are over, it's time to get down to business. Hopefully leaders consider how their decisions impact everyone – those who suddenly find themselves with less and more importantly those who continually make do with nothing.

    April 2, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  10. Chris Wisconsin

    A citizen of London died. He was a diabetic in his early 40's who was not allowed to leave when he identified himself as a diabetic and needed insulin. Earlier report had a man from Parliament who stated he had not been a part of the demonstration but was not being allowed to leave. He felt it was a violation of human rights. Only comment by Anderson was that someone with health issues should probably not have been present at a demonstration. We don't know the circumstances but was he just walking down the street also. Why was he not allowed to leave to seek medical assistance. why should diabetics be denied their human rights and medical needs. Don't they have free speech. Are the needs of these buildings in London really more important.

    April 2, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  11. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Hi Anderson
    I hope you get invited to see the Queen at Buckingham Palace .It would be a jolly good time. I 'm sure you can comapare your ipod tunes too and give us the insight on ettitiquette when having tea with the queen and give Richard Quest a quiz this time .

    Great show last night
    Stay safe on the streets and are you interviewing the protesters ?
    The americian poeple should be portesting here at the banks not just in Europe .

    Michelle D.

    April 2, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  12. Antoinette, NY


    Great show last night. Funny comments too from Richard. His argybargy comment brought back memories. Remember the band Squeeze from the 80s?

    Argybargy is a 1980 album by the British New Wave group Squeeze.

    See you tonight!

    April 2, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  13. Sandra Robertson, Ga.

    Hi Anderson. The President and First Lady's visit with The Queen was nice, with wide grins, hugs and gift-giving. But, all that aside, now is the time for business. I look forward to hearing a final report on what proposals the G-20 members come up with to secure world economic and financial growth. Thanks for the great reports Anderson.

    Congratulations CNN for your much deserved Peabody Award.

    April 2, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  14. Michelle Namminga

    Like I already said, the energizer bunny keeps on going and going.

    April 2, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  15. anne,nfld,canada

    enjoy your time in London,despite the time difference.I am sure you must have been in every time zone imaginable in all your many travels.LOL

    Great coverage on the program last night, and I am looking forward to the rest of the week's as well.

    Not sure about the whole IPOD gift thing,but what does one give a Queen that she doesn't already have,especially after all these years?

    Take care,and have a safe trip home.......

    April 2, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  16. Sarah, Canterbury UK

    Hey, if your near Trafalgar Square – drop in (seriously, my office is on the corner of Haymarket and Pall Mall).

    I am sure we can provide you all with a cup of tea (or sanctuary) !

    April 2, 2009 at 8:23 am |
  17. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Now that the formalities and gift exchanges are over--time for global work.

    April 2, 2009 at 8:22 am |
  18. Felix Davis

    The Obamas look so happy to be meeting the Queen. Something for the history books.

    April 1, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  19. Mary H. St. Louis, MO

    Enjoy your time on the other side of the pond. Stay safe.

    April 1, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  20. Brian Quigley

    I am having difficulty understanding how the Queen has any relevance in the current economic situation. I say that with all due respect. It is the old mayor kissing the baby political picture.

    April 1, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  21. Bertha

    Congrats on broadcasting in the UK. Let's hope that this is a productive summit.

    April 1, 2009 at 9:58 pm |
  22. Mike Syracuse, NY

    I angre with Jo Ann. I'm getting tired of Obama and his administration being apologists for the US. Hillary says the drug war in Mexico is our fault. Obama all but apologizes to the Muslim world when we were the ones attacked. And what's the deal with calling terrorist attacks 'man caused disasters'? The fact that Obama has agreed to negotiate nuclear arms reductions with Russia makes me very nervous. I think he'd agree to a dangerous deal just so he could get a deal. After all he rammed through a bad stimulus bill (with AIG bailouts included), just to show he was doing something.

    April 1, 2009 at 9:56 pm |
  23. Scott, LaSalle, Ontario, Canada

    I also hope that this visit will bring good economic news, for all of the world.

    April 1, 2009 at 9:48 pm |
  24. Alex E.

    Wishing for a successful G-20 to stabilize the world economy.

    April 1, 2009 at 9:45 pm |
  25. LorenaR

    @Norma, the rule is that you cannot touch the Queen until she has touched you first, via a handshake or a pat of affection. The Queen had already done this with Mrs Obama. Anyway, the idea of untouchable royalty is a just a bit much for the 21st century.

    April 1, 2009 at 9:44 pm |
  26. Carmen


    You continue to push the limits of reporting, passionately and to be admired., in London with the whole time zone different. A wee bit of jet lag? Keep up the good work.

    April 1, 2009 at 9:41 pm |
  27. Caroline, Los Angeles

    When I saw the video of the queen meeting the Obamas today it was rather amusing because the queen and her husband are so tiny beside the Obamas. I had no idea the queen was that short until I saw her next to the presidential couple.

    The whole work is mad at us aren't they? I do hope Obama can make them understand that it was only a tiny portion of us who screwed up the world's finances. The rest of us are innocent!

    April 1, 2009 at 9:05 pm |
  28. Paula, Colorado

    It's great to see your writing on the blog. I'm glad you've arrived in London safely. I've viewed some of the coverage late this afternoon–I'm very much looking forward to your program tonight–and to your reporting on the summit as it unfolds.

    April 1, 2009 at 9:03 pm |
  29. lynn

    1. The few protestors were greatly outnumbered by the legion of photographers trying to get a story. The coverage of these few has vbeen ridiculous!

    2. There was a great deal of thought that went into the gift the Obamas gave the Queen. The major gift was a signed and rare musical songbook by Richard Rogers. The Queen is a fan of his music. The ipod was secondary to its contents: songs and videos of the Queen's visit to the US in 2007.

    I am sure a person as rich as the Quewn was appreciative of such a personalized gift and the responders and pundits making fun of this are pathetic and I bet can not name any gifts given to the Queen by any other presidents...without looking it up.

    April 1, 2009 at 8:52 pm |
  30. Karen

    Perfect in every way . . . . Obamas gift to The Queen.

    News showed a clip of Obama – with a cold – being questioned by white folk – his tone of questioning made me think – sit your – (choice words) – down and watch how this President takes a countries shared failure of responsibilities and imperialistically changes capitalism as we know it.

    – I see the glass half full, and – I thrive on change.

    Thank you Anderson


    April 1, 2009 at 8:30 pm |
  31. Cindy

    Glad that you took time to blog with us on here. Looking forward to tonight's show from London. Hopefully you can stay awake throughout the show though since it'll be late there! LOL


    April 1, 2009 at 8:29 pm |
  32. Pamina

    Hi Anderson,
    Looking forward to the coverage from the summit over the next few nights. I would be curious to hear from the experts, what they believe President Obama's message needs to be to the global audience he has now. If we hope to turn things around, who does he need to "court" and get support from in order to provide reassurance to Americans as well as any world allies we would hope to gain?

    April 1, 2009 at 8:23 pm |
  33. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    London–how lovely even if you are having to work while over there.

    One would hope that more emphasis is placed on the actual summit rather than gifts or protocol or what Mrs. Obama wears or does or says. At times I'm not sure I'm watching star sightings or a meeting of world leaders. The priorities are pretty scary.

    My wish is for these leaders to actually lead, do what is best for everyone, and not simply look out for their own selfish interests. For once it would be wonderful if everyone really did think globally. If we don't, I do fear we'll regret it in ways we cannot even begin to imagine for the next generations.

    Oh well. Enjoy the trip. I'm going play with that lovely US novelty known as tax prep for my accountant. Tea parties look better all the time.

    April 1, 2009 at 8:01 pm |
  34. Soniya, Denton, TX

    This summit should bring economic stability and sustainable development across the globe.

    April 1, 2009 at 7:54 pm |
  35. Isabel Siaba

    Good evening, Anderson Cooper!

    I hope everything is going well in London.

    The day today was a spectacle. On the eve of the G20, the market should be nervous. But prevailed the expectation of union between the countries for this meeting. Time to forget about individualism and work together, because everyone will be better.
    And that's no April fool! lol

    Even with all the pressure imposed by the worsening of the global crisis, the ability to take concrete steps in the G20 Summit, will be limited, because the discussions are still skating around the search for consensus on the priorities in fighting the recession. I think the G20 Summit, in the end will
    disappoint us all.

    Bad news today. New numbers came out and unemployment is growing. The economy recorded record losses of jobs in March. This kind of news makes us want that the decisions of the G20 Summit to be effective and that big stakes are reached.

    Yes, I repeat with you! For the sake of all our economies, let’s hope more comes out of this summit than just a traditional trading of presents.

    Thank you
    See you later

    April 1, 2009 at 7:38 pm |
  36. Michelle Johnson, Lomita, CA

    What they all said to one another and how they acted just chatting, outside of the political talking head arena–exchanging of presents and that sort of thing, is the most interesting part of it.

    April 1, 2009 at 7:37 pm |
  37. Lori, Boston

    Hi Anderson,

    I absolutely love London. It will be interesting hearing the outcome to these stories. Looking forward to your show tonight.

    April 1, 2009 at 7:37 pm |
  38. Norma

    They didn't teach Mrs Obama not to touch the Queen
    For the dinner tonight, does she own a JACKET?
    Thanks, Norma

    April 1, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  39. Pati Mc Camp Hill, PA

    "For the sake of all our economies, let’s hope more comes out of this summit than just a traditional trading of presents."

    Funny you should mention that Anderson, I was thinking the same thing all day. Yes, it is a interesting little insight to see what is exchanged, but clearly we have bigger fish to fry. (that was funny, fish & chips...England...LOL).

    But seriously, with all of the protests, I will be interested to see what POTUS thinks about this and if it will have any effect on how he handles himself and hie views on world economy. Personally I can understand the protest, just not the methods being used by some. Violence is never a solution. It detracts from the cause IMHO.

    My friend Helen has invited you to tea...just in case that invite from The Queen is not forthcoming. Oh Anderson, how could you insult the corgi's? Shame on you! Haha.

    April 1, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  40. Diane N.

    It sounds very exciting and solemn all at the same time. It must be so hard to put first things first, on the one hand you have the obvious that being all the world leaders and the outcome of the talks, on the other hand you have the protesters who need to be heard. Fascinating. I can't wait to see it.

    April 1, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  41. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Hellooo Anderson!!!
    I am so exciting forwarding you tonight in London, England!!! Can't wait what our pres. Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have plan!!!! I am really want hear what Summit G-20 talking economy and things! You have great trip see over this city! Stay safe! See you soon on live blog and program! Take care yourself!

    April 1, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  42. Jo Ann


    Big stakes indeed! I cannot say I was pleased with the attitude Obama showed in his meeting with Russian President Dimitry Medvedev. I am very uncomfortable with his habit of denigrating the United States in public to other world leaders. Yes, Russian- American relations have deteriorated, but let’s not forget that Russia is not without blame, it attacked Georgia and directed missiles at locations that would threaten the United States and the rest of the world.

    I think the gifts Obama has presented to both PM Gordon Brown and to the Queen show a lack of sophistication, imagination and thought.

    I hope you are taking time to enjoy yourself in London.

    I look forward to tonight’s program.

    Jo Ann
    North Royalton, Ohio

    April 1, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  43. Lilibeth

    Hi Anderson, pomp and pageantry aside, I hope that much will be accomplished in this summit. The leaders have strong personalities, which of course means that they all have strong opinions on fixing the global financial mess. But they don’t have much choice but to work together. I suppose those who refuse to do so will do what they want anyway.

    My favorite English tradition and guilty pleasure is afternoon tea with scones and jam (but hold the clotted cream; I’m trying to be good.). Try it sometime.

    Edmonds, Washington

    April 1, 2009 at 7:05 pm |
  44. Helen, Reading, UK

    Hey Anderson, hope you had a good trip over here, it'll be great to see you in London! Sorry you'll have to be going on air at 3am though..make sure you get plenty of rest. As a proud English person, I have to say that I'm ashamed and saddened by the violence that surrounded today's proceedings, as with many protests, there seems to be the minority determined to mess things up for the peaceful majority. I understand there is a lot of attention focused on the President and the First Lady, but seriously, the English were as excited by his election as you Americans were! At least you guys got to vote for the man you wanted, ha, ha! Still, I hope that something useful comes out of these talks, we could all do with a bit of good news. By the way, don't forget to check out a new Facebook group called Gray Groupies, set up in honour of Jack Gray this evening.. And I'm only 40 miles west of London Anderson if you want to visit Reading for tea and crumpet..

    April 1, 2009 at 7:04 pm |
  45. Annie Kate

    Hi Anderson

    Its funny that people are talking about the gifts exchanged – I haven't seen a visit where that has happened before. I guess when the Obama's goofed up on the presents to the Browns that they set the stage for this close scrutiny. I'm looking forward to hearing the meat of the visit tonight with what was said by and to foreign leaders. Looking forward to seeing you tonight live by the Tower bridge.

    April 1, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  46. Judy Stage/Brooklyn MI

    See you tonight Anderson.

    April 1, 2009 at 6:48 pm |