Q Thank you. Is the President happy with the election in France?
MR. SNOW: The President is happy with any democratic election. And he has congratulated President-elect Sarkozy and looks forward to meeting him at the G8 next month.
Q A follow-up on that. Tony Blair is scheduled to step down as head of the Labour Party later this week. Can you talk a little bit about the notion of — the possibility of the French President-elect becoming the replacement for Tony Blair as the President’s best friend in Europe?
MR. SNOW: I believe they represent different countries. (Laughter.)
Q — best friend?
MR. SNOW: Again, this is — this kind of trivializes a process that’s going on. And I’m not — we will have comments —
Q But the friendship between Bush and Blair was pretty important.
MR. SNOW: It was extraordinary. And it’s very important to try to develop and deepen friendships. And whoever may follow Tony Blair as Prime Minister of Great Britain, we hope to have just as close a relationship. You may recall that there was some question early on, because Prime Minister Blair had such a close relationship with President Clinton, about whether he’d have one with President Bush. Well, he did. And why is that? Because of deep shared interests and values, precisely the sort of the thing that the President and the Queen both made mention of today.
What we’re hoping for at all times is closer relations with all our allies.
(* text message speak for Best Friend Forever)