This isn’t really the sort of response we want Obama to receive from other world leaders. OTOH, France hasn’t really been a significant world power for far longer than they care to admit. Take the criticism for what it is worth.
The US President is weak, the Spanish leader is dim, the German Chancellor is clinging on to Franceâ€™s coat-tails and the head of the European Commission is irrelevant.
That, at any rate, is the world according to President Sarkozy, who has spent the week airing his unvarnished opinions of Barack Obama and an array of international politicians â€” abruptly ending Franceâ€™s honeymoon with the US and needling Washington on several strategic issues.
In the latest in a stream of accounts from the Ã‰lysÃ©e Palace, Mr Sarkozy was quoted yesterday as telling an all-party group of MPs that Mr Obama was inexperienced and indecisive. â€œObama has a subtle mind, very clever and very charismatic,â€ the French President said. â€œBut he was elected two months ago and had never run a ministry. There are a certain number of things on which he has no position. And he is not always up to standard on decision-making and efficiency.â€
The US President had underperformed on climate change when they met, Mr Sarkozy said, according to an account of the MPâ€™s session in the newspaper LibÃ©ration. â€œI told him, â€˜I donâ€™t think that you have quite understood what we are doing on carbon dioxideâ€™.â€Mr Sarkozy was apparently irked by media reports that Mr Obama had saved the day in London by persuading President Hu of China to reach a compromise with France over tax havens. Mr Sarkozyâ€™s version is that he shamed Mr Obama into action, telling him: â€œYou were elected to build a new world. Tax havens are the embodiment of the old world.â€