Sunday, June 7, 2009

First Ladies in Paris

maureen, over at East Wing Rules is at it again. The continuous comparison of the Kennedys and Obamas. Oh, and the press and their over the top reporting of why the Obamas did not dine with the Sarkozys? Heads of State participate in something called protocol, which many of us forget when it comes to the Obamas. Barack and Michelle Obama was in France for the celebration of D-Day, along with celebrating Sasha's 8th birthday. Though the Sarkozys did have lunch with Michelle and the girls, as Barack left, the Obamas had no commitment to dine with the Sarkozys. Remember, when President Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy ventured into Paris, France it was a State Visit, which is vastly different from the Obamas visit to Paris. Protocol, folks, protocol.

But, maureen breaks it all down here:

No first lady will be the recipient of the wild adoration that enveloped Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy when she landed in France in 1961 as the spouse of a head of state. For her in a sense, it was going home, back to a beloved city where she received her junior year of education on the Left Bank at the prestigious La Sorbonne. The 31 year-old was there for a European state visit with all the pomp trimmings and managed to charm the irascible President Charles de Gaulle with her Française, élan and savoir faire. She ably served as the interpreter between the French and American presidents. The French state dinner was a feast in the Hall of Mirrors at the palace of Versailles followed by a Jackie Kennedy favorite performance art, the ballet, as Rendezvous pirouetted in the Louis XV Theater.

On June 8, 1994 another First Lady stood in Paris in the shadow of Jackie and embraced her. Mrs. Onassis had recently passed away and it was a sad opportunity for Hillary Rodham Clinton to pay tribute to her. Five years later, Hillary was in Paris again to present an award at the Sorbonne. By that time Parisians embraced her and what she represented as a woman with grace weathering through triumph and tragedy in the White House. It is remarkable how many modern First Ladies travel to Paris in June. First lady Laura Bush in Paris, France June 11, 2008, for a cultural evening with the American Ambassador to France, Charles Stapleton on the evening before the International Support Conference for Afghanistan. read more and view the video, here

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