Saturday, July 26, 2008

Leaving Paris

I'm leaving Paris today and won't have easy computer access, so the blog really will be in hiatus until Aug. 6 or so.


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.