26 April 2018 - Macron's Speech to Congress
After hugging Trump, Macron tears down Trumpism
Ishaan Tharoor (The Washington Post, 26/04/2018)
Before French President Emmanuel Macron delivered an address at a joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday, the headlines about his trip to Washington centered on his apparent “bromance” with President Trump. On Tuesday, the duo engaged in a series of physical embraces and celebrated both their personal rapport as well as the “unbreakable” bonds between France and the United States.
But on Wednesday, as his three-day visit drew to a close, Macron shifted the story dramatically. In his speech to American lawmakers, he offered a comprehensive rejection of the main tenets of Trumpism, excoriating “extreme nationalism” and protectionism, championing climate-change science and defending the international liberal order. “You can play with anger and fear for a time,” Macron said, alluding to the themes that fuel right-wing nationalist movements in the West, “but they do not construct anything.”
L’Etat of the Union
Fred Kaplan (Slate, 25/04/2018)
In a rousing speech before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron criticized trade wars, celebrated international institutions, rejected extreme nationalism, stood up for science, expressed hopes that the United States would “one day” return to the Paris talks on climate change, and defended the Iran nuclear deal.
In short, the morning after a lavish White House state dinner and reports of a blooming “bromance” between the French and American presidents, Macron took several serious jabs at the policies and beliefs of his host, Donald Trump.
At times, his nearly hour-long speech resembled a modern State of the Union, with lawmakers in half the chamber—in this case, the Democratic half—rising and cheering lustily, while those in the other half clapped politely or sat on their hands.
The Macron-Trump Summi and the Dandruff Factor
Adam Gopnik (The New Yorker, 25/04/2018)
The summit this week in Washington, D.C., between Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump has caused an anxious transatlantic exchange between Francophile Americans and French observers of American life over a singular and urgent issue: the proper French translation for the word “dandruff.” The dictionary suggests “pellicules,” but that word, meaning film, or flakes, is far more generalized, and broadly applicable to things besides ugly hair-snow. This implies either that the French have a less particularized relationship with the problem—which rings true, I can’t recall hearing it mentioned often as a problem in France—or that Americans have a specially fraught one with it, which also rings true. Though the condition exists in France, it is governed by the typically French taste for fine discriminations: they don’t treat it as a simple shoulder plague but as a subject for quasi-medical distinctions. (“There exist many kinds of flakes,” one French magazine reports, “including fatty flakes and drier flakes, according to the nature of the particular epidermis.”) Certainly, Donald Trump’s decision on Tuesday, in the Oval Office, to ostentatiously remove a pellicule sèche from President Macron’s jacket was interpreted in France, as it was here, as one more bit of primitive theatricalizing on Trump’s part—a primate dominance display. (Among primates, the less dominant tend to groom the more dominant, though Trump clearly intended his housekeeping to indicate his, well, right to intervene.)
EU leaders put Trump's unilateralism to the test
Pinar Cebi Wilber (The Hill, 25/04/2018)
The White House is having a busy week with visits by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The list of issues that could be brought to the table is not short, ranging from trade to defense.
It will be interesting to see whether the two European leaders will present a united agenda and how the personal relationships, good or bad, between these three counterparts will shape the discussions.
It is not a secret that Presidents Trump’s and Macron’s relationship has evolved over time. Recently, some commentators have dubbed it a “bromance.” France’s immediate support for the U.S. strike against Syria helped fortify the close relationship between the two leaders.