Barack Obama’s book, A Promised Land, gives insights on several world leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and the UK’s former Prime Minister David Cameron. In the first volume of his memoir, President Obama wrote that Ms Merkel was initially sceptical of him possibly due to his “exaggerated rhetoric”.
But Mr Obama did not blame the German Chancellor for her apprehension.
He wrote: “For a German head of government, an aversion to possible demagogy was probably a healthy attitude.”
President Obama explained how he found Ms Merkel to be eventually quite “friendly”.
He called the German Chancellor “reliable, honest, intellectually precise and friendly in a natural way”.
However, the former president did criticise Germany’s policy towards Greece following the financial crash.
Speaking about Ms Merkel and France’s former President Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr Obama wrote: “I noticed that they rarely mentioned that German and French banks were some of Greece’s biggest lenders, or that much of Greeks’ accumulated debt had been racked up buying German and French exports — facts that might have made clear to voters why saving the Greeks from default amounted to saving their own banks and industries.”
President Obama blasted Mr Sarkozy and said he was “no real counterweight” to Ms Merkel.
He described the former French president as “a figure out of a Toulouse-Lautrec painting”.
During the interview, Mr Obama said: “I think very much of Angela Merkel. She has been an outstanding political leader, not only for Germany, but for Europe and the world.”
In Mr Obama’s first memoir volume he analyses his 2008 presidential campaign and the first few years of his administration.
In the book, Mr Obama reveals his impressions of leaders from across the world.
He said Vladimir Putin reminded him of political barons he met during his early career in Chicago.
Mr Obama wrote that the Russian President was “like a ward [district] boss, except with nukes and a UN Security Council veto”.
He added: “Putin did, in fact, remind me of the sorts of men who had once run the Chicago machine or Tammany Hall [a New York City political organisation] – tough, street-smart, unsentimental characters who knew what they knew, who never moved outside their narrow experiences, and who viewed patronage, bribery, shakedowns, fraud, and occasional violence as legitimate tools of the trade.”
Mr Obama also gave his thoughts on the former Prime Minister David Cameron.
He said Mr Cameron was “urbane and confident” and had “the easy confidence of someone who’d never been pressed too hard by life”.
Mr Obama said he liked Mr Cameron “personally” but disagreed with his economic policies.
He wrote: “Cameron hewed closely to free-market orthodoxy, having promised voters that his platform of deficit reduction and cuts to government services – along with regulatory reform and expanded trade – would usher in a new era of British competitiveness.
“Instead, predictably, the British economy would fall deeper into a recession.”