Friday, April 3, 2009

France -- And Its President -- Go Gaga Over Obama

- Associated Press Writer
Published: Fri, Apr. 03, 2009 01:58PM

STRASBOURG, France -- France's president grins, schoolboy-like, as he welcomes Barack Obama to his country where Americans in recent years have not always felt so appreciated. An eager French colonel admonishes his men to keep their heads high as Obama strides past. Teenagers blush and beam at the chance to brush fingers with the American leader.

The French - and especially their President Nicolas Sarkozy - are clearly out to set aside past strains and please the Obamas on their first presidential visit.

For Nicolas Sarkozy, the trip, for a NATO summit on the French-German border, didn't come a moment too soon. The French leader is an unabashed admirer of the United States, and French commentators suggested he had been snubbed when Obama chose to meet with other world leaders before making it down his list to Sarkozy.

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