Senator Barack Obama arrived at the Elysee Palace on Friday afternoon, stepping out of a black sedan in the stately courtyard and walking up to greet French President Nicolas Sarkozy who stood in the palace doorway.
“The French love the Americans,” Mr. Sarkozy said, smiling affectionately at the senator as the two walked into a press conference following a private meeting here. He showered praise upon Mr. Obama, adding: “The French have been following him with passion.”
The French love the Americans? My, how times have changed.
The Illinois senator said he had not meant to snub France, by spending only a few hours in the country Friday during his whistle-stop tour. "I don't know anybody who doesn't want to spend more time in Paris"
Mr. Sarkozy said he would work with whomever becomes the next American leader, adding: “Of course it’s not up to the French to choose the next president of the United States of America.” But he said that “Barack Obama’s adventure is an adventure that rings true in the hearts and minds” of the French people.It was an unusual site for a Democratic presidential candidate to be standing side-by-side with a French president. Four years ago, Senator John Kerry spent months fighting back impressions that he appeared too French – even though he wasn’t – and conservative commentators used to create a caricature that likely affected his candidacy.