Denis MacShane, a former British minister for Europe, who met with other Atlanticists at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Edinburgh over the weekend, describes the circumstances this way: “There’s a growing worry everywhere in Europe that we have the first U.S. president since 1945 to show no interest in what’s happening on this side of the relationship.”…

That’s not what you’d call an embrace. It’s reinforcement for the idea that the president over his first year in office has shunned, or taken for granted, Europe’s initial burst of affection for him. The fallout — either attributed to the private comments of European leaders, or reflected in major editorial voices — is an expression of skepticism about Mr. Obama’s capabilities and the depth of the change he claims to represent…

The current issue of Le Canard Enchaîné, the controversy-loving French political weekly, which specializes in putting direct quotes into the mouths of French politicians — regarded with interest here although not as verbatim scripture — has President Nicolas Sarkozy saying:

“The truth is that Bush was more interested in Europe than Obama. Obama is very disappointing in terms of foreign policy. It’s not only with me that relations are difficult. It’s the same with Merkel and Brown. The words have changed. The hand was extended. But no one has grasped it.”