German Chancellor Angela Merkel is having quite the day with current and former US presidents.
This morning she met with Barack Obama for breakfast and an event in front of thousands at the Brandenburg Gate, and with the rendezvous came a rhapsody of smiles and mutual affection.
“We can’t hide behind a wall,” Obama told the rapt audience, a none-too-subtle dig at his successor, in his first speaking appearance in Europe since he left office. The crowd lapped it up.
Tonight, Merkel is in Brussels meeting current US president—and handshake-refuser—Donald Trump at a NATO summit.
Two presidents, one day. How is it going? One clue can be read in their faces. Note, if you will, the sheer number and range of smiles shared between Merkel and Obama this morning.
Like this one, the “is-it-really-you, B?” smile:
I think Merkel may have a bit of crush. Obama in Berlin: ‘We can’t hide behind a wall’ https://t.co/V8JlPAKSnQ pic.twitter.com/OC83t6tKgo
— Monica Causey (@mlcreader) May 25, 2017
Or this, the “we-were-so-good-together, remember?” smile:
Find yourself someone who looks at you the way Obama looks at Merkel. pic.twitter.com/fmztlTR0qO
— sophia (@kmbwsk) May 25, 2017
The “I-know-you’ve-moved-on, but-our-old-jokes-were-better-than-others’-jokes” smile:
Obama gets rock-star welcome in Berlin, praises Merkel. Good start for Merkel ahead of Trump meeting at NATO later. https://t.co/tf5mfoLYLb pic.twitter.com/9AeCafUC88
— Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner) May 25, 2017
And then there was this elegant wave-of-the-hand smile; B.O. pleased as punch:
Meanwhile, in Brussels, early photos indicate a….very different rapport: