Obama and Sarko are passive-aggressive! 

No please, you first.                         

Beltway doesn't subscribe much to pop psychology, but the relationship between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and President Obama is so overtly fraught that it's hard to resist reading all sorts of subtextual hostility into their awkward efforts at joshing each other.

So let's get right to it.

From today's joint appearance in the East Room of the White House:

Obama:

"Now, I have to point out that the French are properly famous for their cuisine, and so the fact that Nicolas went to Ben’s Chili Bowl for lunch -- (laughter) -- I think shows his discriminating palate. My understanding is he had a half-smoke, so he was sampling the local wares. And we appreciate that very much,"

Sarko:

"And insofar as the president has revealed a secret -- namely, where I had lunch today -- I should say that I have a good friend in Washington who had actually recommended that restaurant. When I walked in I saw a huge photograph of President Obama.  And I’m afraid that when you go back to that restaurant you may see a smaller photograph of the French President."

Obama:

"Well, let me answer the second question, even though that was to Nicolas. I listen to Nicolas all the time. I can’t stop listening to him."

No, you. I insist.                                     (reuters photos)

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Julie Mason

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