Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chowing Down with the Obamas

Barack Obama wouldn't break bread with Benjamin Netanyahu--a symbol whose importance shouldn't be underestimated. The political courage it took to make this calculated gesture of retaliation for the insult inflicted on Joe Biden and the U.S. by Israel was considerable. But Obama is about to make another carefully calibrated dining decision: he's going to sit down with Sarkozy:

After a year of frostiness, Barack Obama is finally granting Nicolas Sarkozy the gesture that he craved. The French President and Carla Bruni are to sup on Tuesday night in the White House family dining room.

Of course this was planned some time ago, but it couldn't come at a better time for Sarkozy: Obama is once again the man of the hour, and Sarko is badly in need of a boost after taking "a thumping" (to borrow a word from George W. Bush) in the regionals.

Justin Vaïsse offers a few thoughts on the president formerly known as "Sarkozy the American" in JDD. If I were Sarkozy, I'd want to know more about the American arms deal with the Russians. And I'd want to know what Obama is thinking about the revelation that the Iranians are building two hardened uranium enrichment sites inside mountains. And what about the Israeli tension? Beyond "dinnergate," what about Petraeus' comments regarding Israeli intransigence? These are issues in which French vital interests are at stake. The past imbroglios over Copenhagen and perceived personal slights are water under the bridge. The future involves issues of the greatest magnitude. That should be challenge enough to get Sarkozy's head back in the game. For the past week, since the election, he has seemed unusually subdued, not to say irritable, and at times almost bewildered, like a stunned prizefighter. But he can still pick himself up off the mat.

Guillon on "Masse Critique"

Given the controversy surrounding Stéphane Guillon, this could be interesting:

Ce soir, dimanche, à 19h00, Stéphane Guillon est l'invité de Frédéric Martel dans "Masse Critique" sur France Culture.

Cette émission a été exceptionnellement enregistrée hier en public au salon du livre.

Stéphane Guillon se désolidarise vivement d'Eric Zemmour ; il dit ne pas avoir été approché par Europe 1 et RTL ; il parle de Sarkozy, de son spectacle, de sa manière de travailler ; et salue tous les humoristes et caricaturistes qui l'ont défendus cette semaine. "Comment tout ça va finir ?", demande Frédéric Martel. La réponse de Guillon mérite d'être écoutée.

Ce soir à 19h00 sur France Culture ou en podcast.

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