OMAHA BEACH, France — Nicolas Sarkozy certainly tried hard to please the American president when the two leaders met to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the D-day landings.
The French leader pulled out the stops for President Barack Obama's visit to Normandy on Saturday, spilling with unusually generous praise for "the America that we love" and the U.S. veterans who fought for France's freedom from the Nazis.
Obama was grateful, but reserved. The men were friendly, but they didn't seem to create much of a spark — at least in public.
"You think that people just want for us to be here together, holding hands?" Sarkozy quipped when the presidents were asked at a news conference whether the brevity of Obama's weekend visit to France reflected low U.S. esteem for Europe, coming after his trip to Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Obama papered over any suspected rifts, saying his time is always limited when he travels. Noting that the U.S. economy "requires a lot of work," he said he would love to come and picnic in Paris' Luxembourg Gardens one day when he had more time. French commentators read that to mean when he has finished being president.