France: Outside Edition

Art Goldhammer also flags French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s double dis at the London G-20 summit: Both U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao have nixed sideline meetings. Here’s Goldhammer:

With no promise of domestic improvement, Sarkozy may well covet asplashy international occasion to demonstrate his indispensability, butthe dice haven’t been rolling his way since he stepped down from the EUpresidency.

In all fairness to Sarkozy, his prime minister, François Fillon (who probably shouldn’t be left out of the 2012 “presidentiable” sweeptakes) just met with Obama’s vice president, Joseph Biden, yesterday in Washington, and the two presidents are scheduled to hold a video-conference on Wednesday to prepare for the summit.

As for not catching a break, the snub from China comes in response to Sarkozy having the temerity to meet with the Dalai Lama (in Poland) last December. In other words, the one time Sarkozy has actually lived up to his campaign promise to elevate human rights in France’s foreign policy, it comes back to haunt him.

Beyond that, Goldhammer’s right, the dice haven’t been rolling Sarkozy’s way. But ever since Obama took office and filled the power vacuum resulting from the extended Bush lame-duck period, the craps table has been tilted against him, too.

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