Thursday, Mar 5, 2015Thursday, Mar 5, 2015

Obama and Hollande bust anti-French cliches

Published on Feb 11, 2014 6:01 AM
United States President Barack Obama (right) and French President Francois Hollande (centre) are greeted by Charlottesville Mayor Satyendra Huja (Left) upon arrival at Charlottesville Albemarle Airport on Feb 10, 2014. -- PHOTO:  REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - You win no points in modern US politics by cosying up to France.

Yet US President Barack Obama is breaking out the tricolours and booming cannon of a state visit for President Francois Hollande, a scandal-tainted socialist with anaemic approval ratings.

Mr Obama's embrace included a rare spin for a foreign leader on Air Force One and a tour of Monticello, shrine to the quintessential American francophile Thomas Jefferson.

The plan is to show that shared political and historic links with America's oldest ally trump occasional turbulence.

If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here