If you're a young, single male out to meet ladies, then French President Nicolas Sarkozy would probably be a great best friend for you. But if you're the married leader of a large industrial nation and your every move is being tracked by live TV cameras worldwide, then maybe not so much.
President Barack Obama discovered that second, less-comfortable of circumstances for himself Friday when he and Sarkozy were working the crowd outside the Palais Rohan in Strasbourg, France.
The two were on their way to a bilateral meeting on very serious world issues, when Sarkozy suggested the American president and he shake some hands with the loud, adoring crowd gathered outside. There was a lot of cheering, screaming and picture-taking and Sarkozy was simply beaming-- maybe it was because he was anticipating what he was about to do next.
Mr. Sarkozy proceeded to get Obama's attention, so the president turned to see what he wanted. Then, the mischievous French leader pointed to a woman while asking Obama aloud, and in full view of live TV cameras, "Do you want a kiss? Do you want a kiss?"
Apparently, the woman did.
Obama replied, "Oh! Oh! Oh!", wagging his finger in a disapproving, you're-going-to-get-me-into-trouble kind of way. Just then, the woman reached her open arms towards President Obama, who then decided to appease her by leaning in, but, in a move likely to have greatly disappointed her, merely gave her his right cheek.
After she planted one on it, the woman grabbed the back of Obama's head, as if she was going to lay big, wet one on his mouth. Luckily for First Lady Michelle, that kiss never materialized.
Obama simply smiled, patted the woman's arm, and walked off.
One thing Barack Obama has learned on his first foreign trip as president is that it's probably good policy not to take your buddy up on an offer for a true French kiss.