Bob Franken


November 8, 2007
France Romance (Bob Franken)
@ 10:49 am

Could it be that George W. Bush has a new “poodle” to replace Tony Blair? This time it would be a French poodle, of course — Nicolas Sarkozy.

It has been so warm and fuzzy the last couple of days, our country’s jingoists might go so far as to rename “Freedom Fries,” maybe even something bizarre like “FRENCH Fries”!

There they were planting, dare I say it, French kisses on one another; Nick and George, at Mount Vernon, trying to use the reflected legacy of Lafayette and Washington to create a gloss on the tarnished relationship between the two countries these days.

Anybody who has ever been to Paris would know how ludicrous the idea of a French “charm offensive” is, but there was Sarkozy trying his best. He even went so far as to say, “The French people love the American people, that is the truth and nothing but the truth.” No wonder his wife left him.

He was spreading the love. President Sarkozy called Hillary Clinton for her view of things. Presumably she didn’t check with her handlers before giving her answers.

He has spoken with other U.S. presidential candidates before. To the best of anyone’s knowledge that did not include a chat with Dennis Kucinich about flying saucers, but Sarkozy’s been hedging his bets, just like corporate campaign contributors do, knowing he’ll have to kowtow to the Bush replacement before long.

He’s touching all the bases. About the only person he hasn’t met with here the last couple of days is Lesley Stahl. But obviously he’s concluded that it is in his country’s best interest to cozy up to the United States. It’s hard to know why, since few other leaders seems to be doing that these days. Even the ones who do, and get billions for it, can get feisty. Gen. Musharraf comes to mind.

But now we have a new best buddy — France — someone new to paper over differences. It’s enough to make anyone exclaim “SACREBLEU,” if you’ll pardon my French.

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