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Newspaper review: Focus on Obama's Westminster speech

Barack Obama's speech in Westminster Hall is analysed in detail in Thursday's newspapers and there is also much assessment of the impact of the US president's state visit.

The Times opts to feature a large close-up of the US president on its front page, along with his autocue.

It quotes a key passage from the speech in its headline: "Our action, our leadership, is essential to the cause of human dignity."

And the paper goes on to hail the message as one of "thanks, praise and extraordinary ambition".

But George Parker in the Financial Times says the address "failed to raise the roof" and reckons it was a "mild disappointment to the peers and MPs who arrived early to bag the best seats and surreptitious pictures with their mobile phones".

The Guardian devotes much of its front page to the speech but its picture shows Michelle Obama on a visit to Oxford University.

The Guardian's report says the president put America and Europe "unambiguously on the side of those fighting for freedom across the Middle East".

In the Independent's words, "He Came, He Spoke, He Conquered Westminster".

And, along with the Guardian, the paper notes that he stopped short of endorsing the coalition government's spending cuts.

'Lip-service'

President Obama's words do not merit a mention on the front of the Daily Telegraph, but it does carry a photo of Mrs Obama with Samantha Cameron at the Downing Street barbecue.

The Telegraph assesses the state visit in its editorial titled "redressing the balance with our closest ally".

It notes that it is "hard to believe that the Barack Obama who has proved so effortlessly charming a visitor to London this week is the same man who, at the start of his presidency, snubbed our last prime minister and made little attempt to conceal his coolness towards this country".

The Daily Express also has a picture of the No 10 barbecue on its front. On the speech, the paper reckons it "invoked the spirit of Winston Churchill".

The Daily Mail's overall verdict on the state visit was that it was a PR triumph, but short on substance.

It also says President Obama's "lip-service to justice rings hollow" by his refusal to intervene in the extradition case of British hacker Gary McKinnon, who has Asperger's Syndrome.

In the Sun's view, the visit only served to show "who's still the boss".

"It may be essential as well as special but there's no doubting who wears the trousers in this relationship," writes the paper's political editor Tom Newton Dunn.

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