A Chirac endorsement would have been better, of course, but still good news on balance for both sides.
Sarkozy called Obama “my dear” and said he’d work with any American president — but “I am especially happy to be meeting with the senator.”
In an effusive, rambling soliloquy, Sarkozy said twice that that “the French love the Americans,” and declared that “the adventure of Barack Obama, it is a story which speaks to the heart of French people and speaks to the heart of Europeans.”…
A reporter nonetheless asked Sarkozy if he was endorsing Obama — who half-jokingly said “I’m going to warn my dear friend President Sarkozy to be very careful about that … question” _and Sarkozy then said: “It’s the Americans who will choose their president, not me.”
But he added in an implicit comparison of Obama with his rival Republican John McCain: “Obviously, one is interested in a candidate that’s looking toward the future rather than to the past.”
Live on the scene in Paris, Jake Tapper titles his dispatch, “Je t’aime.” See also Le Figaro by way of Politico, quoting Sarkozy as saying his “pal’s” nomination will “validate” the rapprochement between the two countries. Exit question: Is the trip finally starting to pay off for Obama in the polls? Both Rasmussen and Gallup show spikes today, but he has yet to bounce any higher than leads he’s already held earlier this month. Saturation coverage, adoring crowds, no major mistakes: If this isn’t enough to reassure voters jittery about him, what hope left does he have for a big lead? He’d better do a bang-up job at the debates — assuming, of course, he doesn’t end up running away from them. Exit question: If it doesn’t work out for him in November, might Barry have a political future in France? Exit answer: All signs point to no.