The Brown-Sarkozy Tandem

Enlightening and entertaining piece from John Vinocur in the IHT on the relationship between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. As far as bilateral relations built on personalities, the two make an odd, and as Vinodur notes, unstable match. Of course, Sarkozy has a way of making any match (e.g. his marriage) seem odd and inherently unstable.

A lot of the current cooperativeness between the two is a result of the leadership gap in Washington at the moment. I suspect that once President-elect Obama becomes President Obama, both men’s attention will turn, in large part, to triangulation. That’s where I think Brown has a temperamental advantage. His rise to power is the story of tolerating a second fiddle role, whereas Sarkozy’s is a patricidal hunger for the spotlight. That combined with the language barrier and the radioacticity in Washington of all things French (although Jim Jones may change all that) ought to weigh in Brown’s favor.