Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sarkobama

Barack Obama has come and gone from Paris, not without exposure to the irrepressible palpations of the French president, whose "energy" evidently impressed the American candidate. "What does he eat, what does he take?" Obama asked. Many French also wonder what their Energizer Bunny may be ingesting but take a rather less benign view of the consequences.

It has been reported that various Socialists sought a meeting with Obama but were eventually spurned, even though he agreed to meet with the opposition in Britain. I wouldn't read too much into this. French politics is largely opaque to Americans (my humble efforts notwithstanding), and to have singled out any particular Socialist pretender would have been to wade into a morass without obvious profit. I note that Obama for President HQ visited the French Politics site in the days before he left on his world tour. I would hate to think that my relatively positive view of Manuel Valls might have inspired the wacky idea of a meeting with the mayor of Evry, which Le Monde seems to think Obama's staff seriously contemplated. Would it be too much to suggest that such a meeting might have been comparable to a Sarko-Kucinich powwow during last summer's visit to Wolfeboro? I like Valls, but still, there are protocols to be observed in international relations. I can't believe this idea went very far.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, a prominent blogger-journalist shared with me in a private email that the real reason is even stupider and more benign that you would expect.
The reason Barack Obama did not meet anybody from the French opposition is because the idea of meeting a "Socialist" was considered too risky in the context of DeLay and co trying to see the idea he is a closet Marxist. The word was a huge roadblock for them.
That was one of the considerations at play here although I am sure the fact there is no set leader did not help.

Alain Q. said...

In view of above it is both ironic and appropriate that Valls himself has proposed that the PS drop the word " socialist" from its name...

alexpri said...

Well, it may be stupid that the Obama team felt he couldn't meet with a socialist, but Obama would have had to have been an idiot to do it. There is no upside to such a meeting and obvious risk: the last thing Obama needs is Fox News talking about how he met with French socialists (while refusing to visit wounded Americans in Germany…).