Obama in France : Some good publicity for... Sarkozy !

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If we try to assess objectively Obama's trip to France, we reach the conclusion that the real winner is...
Nicolas Sarkozy.

An in-depth analysis of the very short press conference which took place this afternoon reveals that nothing new has emerged, except that now everybody knows who Sarkozy really supports in this American election.
And our reaction is that it is not fair : a French president must not interfere in the choice of the American voters, nor show his preference for one or the other candidate.

And yet, this is what Nicolas Sarkozy clearly did today.
First, the extremely derogatory comment he made about Hillary Clinton is offensive for all the supporters of the New York Senator. When he declared in an interview to Le Figaro that contrary to what his foreign policy advisers had predicted, he had always thought she had no chance of winning the primary, it shows his contempt for her candidacy and it is an insult for all women. When we remember the way he treated Ségolène Royal during the French presidential campaign, or even recently, we must acknowledge this does not come as a surprise.

Secondly, the attitude he adopted with Barack Obama and the words he has used, his physical attitude, his gestures toward the candidate (friendly, affectionate, hugging, even final kissing !) was a clear message to all Americans : you must vote for this guy : he is the one. And this is unacceptable, if we think about the cold welcome John McCain received a few weeks ago. We'd like to repeat that both candidates should have been treated the same way.

However, one must bear in mind that Nicolas Sarkozy is a very talented politician : Barack Obama has fallen in his trap as "a beginner".
The aim of the joint press conference was not to enable Obama to address a message to French people (the only thing we will probably remember him saying is : "Bonjour! when he arrived ; and "American people like the French" : what an astounding piece of news ! How original !) It was to promote Sarkozy's own presidency : to show that he unambiguously supports the Democratic candidate whereas he should favor John McCain, as the French right-wing party has always supported the Republicans. So today Sarkozy could confirm he is not the prisoner of any tradition, that he is modern. Moreover, as Obama is much more popular than McCain in France, Sarkozy also wanted to show the French people that he agrees with them. And he seized the opportunity to say that Obama's candidacy is a great opportunity for the whole world as he is an African American, and as he has always been a supporter himself of affirmative action. He even quoted the three French ministers of African origin he has appointed in his own government.

Each time he was talking enthusiastically, visibly delighted to stand next to the man who had spoken in front of thousands of people the day before, it was becoming more and more obvious that Obama was getting bored, that he was realizing the trap he had fallen into : when you are with Sarkozy, it is nearly impossible to be the center of attention.

And Mr Obama apparently does not like being in the shadow. He is not accustomed to that.
That's why, according to me, he was so impatient to leave...

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Commenter cet article

Michigan4Hillary 26/07/2008 03:19

thanks again or the great reporting. here are a few sites you'd like:

you should ask noquarter if you can guest post. they'd probably appreciate the french perspective.

John Doe 26/07/2008 02:59

Hey Genius, the French DO NOT vote for an American President.

For some one advocating for Sen. McCain I would think you will actually like the fact that President Sarkozy was friendly towards Sen. Obama since that was the ideal image to make those right wing nuts hate Sen. Obama even more.

Anyway I repeat, the French do NOT vote in American elections so just shut up and enjoy the show ...

Memorye 26/07/2008 02:49

Thank you for the great article. We would not have the truth if we did not have people like you. Thank you

IndyPUMA 26/07/2008 01:58

Delphine, another great post! :)

We're doing an International Outreach weekend. We want to bring in more folks from around the world so if you can help.. that would be wonderful.

Check out this post.

LizzyinCT 26/07/2008 01:32

Thank you for these live reports from France! It seems the majority of the French public sees BO for exactly what he is - unqualified, inexperienced, unworthy to hold the office of President of the United States. It is very encouraging to read this blog. Excellent work!