Obama in France Special coverage (4)
I have just read a very funny anecdote : the British press has gone in a frenzy over an existential question : what happened to Barack et Carla today ?
In fact, the British newspapers are wondering why the American president and the French First Lady did not kiss each other when they met for the first time this morning, according to the French tradition.
And this is all the more surprising as at the same moment, Nicolas did not hesitate to kiss Michelle on her two cheeks.
Some American tabloids have spoken about the anecdote tonight, and are going a little further, as New York Daily News, qui va jusqu'à poser la question qui tue : "Did Obama dodge a friendly kiss from French First Lady Carla Bruni ?"
All seemed to be going swimmingly, in a French kind of way. Michelle and Carla shared a warm embrace and a European-style peck on each cheek.
President Obama and the prime minister [here the New York Daily News makes a mistake calling Sarkozy "prime minister" instead of "president"] shook hands heartily and even two-stepped through a kind of French man-hug. Sarkozy then planted a double-kiss on Michelle.
But when Bruni finally leaned in to kiss President Obama, something happened.
Maybe he balked. Maybe she pulled back. Whatever.
There was no kiss, sending the British press in particular into a spasm of forensic investigation that included a frame-by-frame analysis of the Kiss That Wasn't.
"It is usual in France to greet one another with a kiss," noted London's Daily Mail. "But the best Mr. Obama could get out of a suddenly flustered Carla Bruni was a handshake."
So, who stepped back ?
To refuse a kiss from the French first lady is simply shocking !
I am all the more intrigued as the French news magazine l'Express has just revealed that Obama kissed a French student only a few minutes after, encouraged to do so by Sarkozy himself, who apparently did not resent the American president for refusing his wife's kiss !