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Thread: Sarkozy's chilly visit to America

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    Sarkozy's chilly visit to America

    Sarkozy's chilly visit to America

    France may be America's oldest ally, but the presidents of the two countries are not exactly the best of buddies.

    When President Obama visited Paris in June, he declined a dinner invitation from French President Nicolas Sarkozy, even though he had no evening plans and was staying just a few doors down from the Elysee Palace.

    The brushoff followed a more substantive snubbing, when the French president turned down a U.S. request to put more troops into Afghanistan. Mr. Obama responded by sending a letter to former French President Jacques Chirac expressing his desire to "work together … to build a safer world."

    The petite but fiery Sarko was reportedly livid.

    So when he arrived in the U.S. on Monday, Mr. Sarkozy went not to Washington but to New York, where he delivered a speech at Columbia University.

    There, he mocked Mr. Obama's recent health care reform victory, saying "if you want me to be really honest, when we see the U.S. debate on the health care reform from Europe, it's difficult to believe. … Excuse me, but we've solved this problem more than 50 years ago."

    With the supreme dismissiveness only a Frenchman can pull off, he added: "Welcome to the club of states who don't turn their back on the sick and the poor. … If you come to France and something happens to you, you won't be asked for your credit card before you're rushed to the hospital."

    When Mr. Sarkozy finally came to Washington, he stopped first at the Capitol, where he met with 2004 failed presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry. There, he pledged to help enact global taxes on countries that resist steps to fight climate change.

    Left to his own devices for lunch, Mr. Sarkozy and his wife, former model Carla Bruni, stopped by Ben's Chili Bowl, accompanied by his two sons from a previous marriage. The French leader scarfed down a chili burger, while his wife gobbled a hot dog with mustard and pickles. The couple, clearly famished, also shared one of Ben's famous half-smokes.

    With lunch finished, it was finally time to go to the White House to meet with the U.S. president. After a private meeting in the Oval Office, the two repaired to the East Room for a joint news conference, where it was all happiness and light.

    Mr. Obama welcomed "my dear friend" and proceeded to call the French president by his first name eight times. "The fact that Nicolas went to Ben's Chili Bowl for lunch, I think, shows his discriminating palate," he said to laughter from Mr. Sarkozy. Mr. Obama, reading from notes, praised his counterpart for his "legendary energy" before ticking off a series of issues on which the two agree.

    The French president, for his part, was defensive from the outset. With his poll ratings at home at record lows of about 30 percent, Mr. Sarkozy went out of his way to dismiss reports that he and Mr. Obama are on the outs — going so far as to speak for European leaders.

    CURL: Sarkozy's chilly visit to America - Washington Times
    See also:

    L'Americain in Washington - Sarkozy Searches for Friendship with Obama that Has Eluded Him


    This is very disturbing. Obama came with the promise of working together with friends and allies and one after the other all European leaders are losing faith in the new administration. Poland and the Czech Republic were outraged at Obama's going back on US promises of basing missile defense batteries in their countries. Germany's Merkel has voiced her displeasure with some of Obama's moves. And now even Sarkozi, perhaps Obama's biggest supporter a year ago, seems vexed by Obama's statements and some of his actions. With all of the world's problems America should be working more closely with its closest allies, not alienating them. I am very confused by all this.
    Last edited by Rachel; 03-31-10 at 09:15 AM.

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    Re: Sarkozy's chilly visit to America

    From the second article:

    L'Americain in Washington

    Sarkozy Searches for Friendship with Obama that Has Eluded Him

    With his power wobbling at home, the timing of Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to Washington couldn't be better. The French president's meeting with Barack Obama will provide exactly the images he needs in France. But in truth, his relationship with the US president is a tense one.

    'The Hoped-for Partnership Never Materialized'

    But Obama hasn't seemed to take Sarkozy seriously. When he has, he has often reacted with irritation towards the French president's brisk leadership style. When the US president traveled to Paris last year, he preferred to dine with his wife Michelle rather than Sarkozy. "The hoped-for partnership never materialized," the French daily Le Figaro wrote.

    Sarkozy hasn't forgiven his American colleague for it, either. He has complained to those close to him that Obama is ill-prepared to govern, noting that he didn't even hold a cabinet-level position before taking office. And he has responded in public to Obama's vision of a nuclear weapons-free world with little more than a polite smile. During his recent speech before the United Nations, Sarkozy reminded the Americans that we live in a real world, not a virtual one.


    L'Americain in Washington - Sarkozy Searches for Friendship with Obama that Has Eluded Him

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    Re: Sarkozy's chilly visit to America

    Sarkozy's party has recently lost big time in our regional elections. He is looking forward to saving face. One of the best ways to do it, is to play buddy with the most powerful man in the world, as noted in your first article. He also has a huge ego proportionally inverse to its height. On the other hand, Obama is very well appreciated here in France. I think Sarkozy would better surrender

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    Re: Sarkozy's chilly visit to America

    Well if there's one country that Obama has alienated it's Britain. Soon after Obama was elected, One of the first things he did was taking down all the Winston Churchill pictures.

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    Re: Sarkozy's chilly visit to America

    It seems to me that Obama mostly kisses up to those who are would-be enemies, and snubs friends.
    Last edited by lizzie; 03-31-10 at 10:25 AM.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
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    Re: Sarkozy's chilly visit to America

    So France is a friend now?

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    Re: Sarkozy's chilly visit to America

    Quote Originally Posted by Alvin T. Grey View Post
    So France is a friend now?
    France is a longstanding friend. Friends do not have to agree on every issue with one another.

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    Re: Sarkozy's chilly visit to America

    Ask Bill O'Reilly.

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    Re: Sarkozy's chilly visit to America

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    It seems to me that Obama mostly kisses up to those who are would-be enemies, and snubs friends.
    Yea, because our relationship was so much better when Dubya was in power


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    Re: Sarkozy's chilly visit to America

    America has no friends.

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