Friday, July 25, 2008

A Real American Leader in Paris...

Barack Obama certainly looked and sounded very presidential this morning in a brilliant joint press conference with French President Nicolas Sarkoszy. After a private meeting, the two men held a lengthy and substantive encounter with reporters. Obama managed to thread the needle of looking and sounding like a potential President without going over the line between a candidate and an already elected Commander-in-Chief. Displaying deep knowledge of key world issues, seasoned diplomatic skills, humor and uncommon aplomb, Obama's performance was, as the French say, a tour de force.

The warmth from the French side was palpable as Obama made it clear that the U.S. could have a President who put America's interests first without demeaning and marginalizing America's oldest ally. The optics of the press conference told the whole story: a confident and amiable Obama standing shoulder-to-shoulder with an unusually warm and welcoming Sarkoszy.

Later in the day, Senator Obama flew on to London where he will meet tomorrow with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Based on the success of his travels so far, I expect Obama will put another notch in his 'ready-for-prime-time' belt while in the U.K.

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