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Sarkozy gushes over Obama, kindred spirit

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PARIS -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy gushed over Barack Obama on Friday when the two appeared together at the Elysee Palace, coming close, it seemed, to making an endorsement.

"But, obviously, one is interested in a candidate who's looking towards the future, rather than the past, and that's something that -- a concern that I share," said Sarkozy, capturing one of Obama's central themes. In March, rival John McCain visited with Sarkozy at the palace, but the French leader did not give him the honor of a joint appearance.


Obama spent about five hours in Paris, meeting with Sarkozy and then French and U.S. reporters who packed a press conference in a glass-ceilinged room. The beaming looks Sarkozy showered on Obama needed no interpretation.

Obama on Friday sprinted from Berlin to Paris to London, the last leg of an overseas swing that started July 17. Obama received an enthusiastic reception in Berlin, where about 200,000 flocked to the city center to hear a speech on trans-Atlantic unity and see one of the most charismatic political figures in the U.S.

Sarkozy and Obama -- both the sons of immigrants -- talked about the joint agenda they would pursue if Obama wins the White House in November, topped by climate change and beefing up allied troop strength in Afghanistan.

A French reporter asked Obama if he faced a backlash in the United States because of his popularity here. "So is it a good thing to be loved by the French in the United States?" the reporter said. Sen. John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic nominee, was fluent in French -- but was reluctant to be heard speaking it for fear he would be portrayed as an elitist. But the 2008 contest is different, with Obama on track to pick up the Democratic nomination in August after a primary campaign that lasted more than a year centered on the themes of hope and change.

"And you have to know that here in Europe, here in France, we're watching with great interest what you're doing," said Sarkozy. Sarkozy stopped short of an endorsement but recalled that he is a pretty good handicapper when it comes to U.S. politics.

Back in 2006, while an aspiring presidential candidate, Sarkozy, then a French interior minister, visited Washington and met with just two senators: McCain and Obama, who hosted him in his Hart Senate Office Building suite.

Until then, Obama rarely drew attention to private meetings he would have with world leaders as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. But when he decided to allow the photo op, he had returned weeks before from a multi-nation African trip which for the first time put him on a major world stage. Obama's team then regarded Sarkozy as a comer.

Sarkozy went on to become president, and Obama is well-positioned to take the White House. Sarkozy drew parallels between his own story and Obama's.

"Not everyone here is called Sarkozy, you know. And I'm aware of the fact that not everyone is called Obama in the United States of America. And that's a sense of -- gives us a sense of America of adventure. And Barack Obama's adventure is an adventure that rings true in the hearts and mind of the French and of Europeans."

11 Comments


Obama has style, good syntax, and practices refined discretion. He even has compassion for his fellow citizens who prolonged the Bush cataclysm. The future is encouraging!

This article and this whole series should be titled "Lynn Sweet gushes over Obama". I have never seen such biased "reporting" in my life.

Americans-Noir,Have always enjoyed a sense of freedom in France,that has been denied them in their own country.So it comes as no suprise that
the French and President Sarkozy,would hit it off
like Soul Brothers".Had Mr.Obama,spoken in public
in Paris,as he did to 200,000,in Berlin,the crowds
would have been 500,000 to one million.The French,
have for years seen through the mendacious nature
of American democracy since Jefferson tried to
bring his slave cook to Paris.The French,refused
to condone the institution of salvery which was so loved by many americans including Jefferson,who
signed the bill of Rights,while still owing slaves.Therefore,Vive La France,Hail President
Sarkozy....

Why didn't the French go to Darfur? They do nothing but whine and drink wine.

Lynn Sweet writes, "The beaming looks Sarkozy showered on Obama needed no interpretation."

Great! Now the Obama media groupies are mind readers, too.

This is not a good thing for Obama. Other than people who would already vote for him, most Americans have a low opinion of France, Italy and esp Germany.
I wouldn't be surprised that when we look back after the elections, it will be his European Rockstar Tour that did him in.

I respect Nicolas Sarkozy for what he is doing for France, but if he prefers the candidate looking toward the future rather than the past, then he would be well advised to work on having good relations with Senator McCain who is interested
in finishing up the job in Iraq and exiting with
the victory that will stabilize the region for years to come, rather than Obama, who is interested only
in the past, reminding people that he was against the war, and against the surge, which were the very two things that permitted him to be able to go there
and return alive and well.

But I'm not too worried about Sarkozy falling in love with either candidate, because he falls in and out of love rather quickly. However, that does put him in Obama's camp at the moment, because he does seem to like "change" and especially changing from
"older" to "younger."

DON'T LET MCCAIN FOOL YOU, HE CAN'T FINISH ANYTHING IN IRAQ, IRAQ JUST HAD 27 PEOPLE KILLED
IN BAGHDAD BY SUICIDE BOMBERS, THERE IS NO DEFENSE
TO PEOPLE WHO BLOW THEMSELVES UP FOR A CAUSE!
WHY AREN'T WE USING THEIR OIL TO PAY FOR THAT
WAR?
TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY AND MANPOWER, AFGHANISTAN
IS WHERE THE TROUBLE REALLLY IS, AND WE DON'T
WANT TO PUT ALOT OF TROOPS THERE, THE TERRAIN
IS TERRIBLE AND ONCE AGAIN IS A NO-WIN SITUATION!
GEORGE BUSH REALLY PUT US IN A HOLE, AND YOU
THING MCCAIN CAN GET US OUT, THIS MAN COULDN'T
GET HIMSELF OUT OF HOLE, LET ALONE A COUNTRY!
OBAMA IS THE ONLY HOPE, HE IS WELL-LIKED ABROAD
EVEN IRAN WILL LISTEN TO OBAMA, THE ECONOMY IS
POOR, JOBS ARE BEING LOST, A REPUBLICAN CAUSED
THIS, AND ONLY A DEMOCRAT CAN HELP US NOW!
NOT THE ABSENT MINDED PROFESSOR!

I believe President Sarkozy wants to use Obama for his Union for the Mediterranean... It's already stated that Iran and Syria will not have direct talks until the next president is in the White House and you know who President Sarkozy is bidding on... Obama is just a puzzle for President Sarkozy becoming the peace keeper for the Middle East...

In my previous comment I meant puzzle PIECE...
I would now like to know whether In fullfiling the Union for the Mediterranean's desires mainly with liberating Iran so that they can have full privledges, if he is choosing to better relations with France as well as the rest of the World or if he intends on becoming a part of this Union, joining the cause with his friend President Sarkozy...I believe it HAS to be one of these two intentions.I'm speaking as a matter of fact because a matter of fact attitude is noted in references from Obama and of President Sarkozy. Such references as Syria and Israel will not have direct peace talks until A new U.S. President is in Office, which is stated at http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11751636

In retrospect looking back at this article Sarah Palin does not keep up with the news. Just recently she was the subject of a punking from 2 radio announcers from Canada who posed as Nicholas Sarcozy via a telephone call.

Palin actually believed it was the President of France and was "gushing" at his french humor including a few words about the lipstick on the pig routine.

Hook, line and sinker Palin and Sarcozy kept the conversation going until finally they felt mercy and told Palin she was the subject of a punking. Her aide immediately hung up.

She obviously does not read the Chicago Sun Times.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on July 26, 2008 6:26 AM.

At Brandeburg Gate, one German's views on Obama. was the previous entry in this blog.

In London, Obama meets with British leaders; heads back to Chicago. Pool report. is the next entry in this blog.

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