Trump and May -- A match not made in heaven

He’s no Ronnie. She’s no Maggie. Yet President Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May should put aside their year-long spat, admit that theirs is a political marriage of convenience, and get on with it.

May is the reticent daughter of a vicar who came to power unexpectedly, and quickly showed that she possesses none of the personal charisma nor political acumen of the country’s only other female PM, Margaret Thatcher, a.k.a. The Iron Lady.

Trump is a millionaire’s son who far outstripped his father’s success and bombast.  His election last year was one of the biggest stunners in American political history. Though he channeled the modern Republican Party’s patron saint, Ronald Reagan, Trump lacks the Great Communicator’s grandfatherly reassurance and command of conservative principles.

If either leader thought they would recreate the harmonious partnership that Reagan and Thatcher enjoyed, they have learned that the world is a very different place than it was in the 1980s. Case in point:  the mayor of London says Trump will not be welcome if he follows through on a planned visit to the U.K. this year. The trip will probably be cancelled.

Yet the two leaders do share one common enemy: the news media. Both British and American news outlets seem determined to drive their elected leaders from office. The unrelentingly negative coverage each receives is unprecedented, and unprofessional.

Lacking the mutual foe of Soviet communism that bound Reagan and Thatcher, Trump and May quickly found that their worldviews are fundamentally at odds. The president worships at the altar of American Exceptionalism. He has opted out of international treaties, lectured allies about their paltry defense spending, and bickered with his own party about his agenda.

May became prime minister after her predecessor, David Cameron, mishandled the referendum on Britain leaving – Brexiting – the European Union. Saddled with the people’s decision to pull out, May is trying to negotiate the most favorable terms for a result she herself opposed before the vote.  Unlike Trump, May would dearly love closer cooperation with the rest of Europe, but must soldier on under the conditions Brexit has imposed.

The president and prime minister have clashed repeatedly and publicly in the year since Trump moved to the White House. May criticized Trump’s early attempt to ban some travelers from Muslim-majority countries. She rejected his comments after an Islamic terror attack in the U.K. in September last year. She condemned his re-tweeting of video posted by a far-right British group. And she questioned his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Yet the two leaders do share one common enemy: the news media. Both British and American news outlets seem determined to drive their elected leaders from office. The unrelentingly negative coverage each receives is unprecedented, and unprofessional.

May and Trump would spend their time more profitably by commiserating with each other, finding areas where they can recreate the storied Special Relationship, and helping each other navigate in a world where tradition is quickly abandoned for political expediency, and news media can put a thumb on the scale of a politician’s popularity as never before.

Don, Terry, face it: neither of you have many friends. Stop bitching and pull together, before it’s too late.

John Moody is Executive Vice President, Executive Editor for Fox News. A former Rome bureau chief for Time magazine, he is the author of four books including "Pope John Paul II : Biography."