The first time Intel editor Chris ever went to London, he was so jet-lagged that he passed out while standing up in a hotel bathroom, slamming his head into the marble countertop as he fell and visibly injuring himself for the rest of his trip. Humiliating? Yes. (Is it possible to look more ridiculous than everyone wearing a fanny pack at Stonehenge?) The first time Barack Obama went to London as president, he was so remarkably not jet-lagged that he already accomplished a number of important international acts before America even got its lazy ass out of bed. To begin with, he gave his first international press conference alongside Gordon Brown, the host of tomorrow’s G20 summit, and he made it clear that there’s not a divide between America and the rest of the world on the strategy to solve the global economic crisis. “I came here to put forward ideas but I also came here to listen, not to lecture,” Obama said, sexily wooing Europe with his populism and creamy black skin while also implicitly acknowledging that this problem is all our fault. “Having said that, we must not miss an opportunity to lead, to confront a crisis that knows no borders.”
Then, and to our minds this is much more exciting, the Obamas spent time with protocol teachers learning how to meet the next world leaders they’ll encounter. The list includes President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia, Prime Minister Hu Jintao of China, and the Queen! Michelle and Barack learned how to shake her hand, when to stop eating when she does, and what to do if there’s a public flub. Remember when George Bush said the Queen had ruled since 1776? This is an opportunity to fix all that. Queen Elizabeth has met eleven standing presidents since she was a young princess, and we simply cannot wait to see how she reacts to this new First Couple. After all, when she started her rule, Kenya — the birth country of Barack Obama’s father — was a British colony. This could be either awkward or awesome. Or, hopefully, both!