The British press have been having a lot of fun with the greeting Carla Bruni-Sarkozy gave Barack Obama. They did not kiss. There’s a reason for this, of course. If you have a superstar American president and a supermodel French first lady and a zillion photographers, and you decide to go head-to-head, there’s always a chance that you’ll end up looking like Michelle Obama in this Sun photo. Oh, go on. Take a peek. You tell me who came out of that shot looking better.
The elaborate kissing rituals of Europe (two in most of France, three or four in Nord-Pas de Calais, three in Flanders, and so on) are impossible. The French press isn’t nearly as concerned with whether or not Carla and Barry kissed the sky near the ear of the other. They, quite rightly, want to know where in the world Carla was last night. Whose air was she kissing when Nicolas was kissing the air elsewhere? That’s what matters most in a world run by supermodels and community organizers and Silvio Berlusconi, whose effort to produce a happy snap will not soon be forgotten (here’s the photo that resulted; the words are an FT report admitting nobody knows exactly what happened at the G20).
Anyway, the G20 was for the kids. For the old folks, there’s some NATO thing in the news: NATO is sixty years old. That’s as old as Frank Rich! Of course, at least Frank’s still working.