The XX Factor

The Girl From Ipanema Goes Walking

Hanna, I agree with you that I was entertained by what looked like a rare moment of unguardedness from our commander-in-chief. But you’re right, the video shows that Obama is a perfect gentleman, while Sarkozy takes undisguised pleasure in the girl from Rio. This whole now-international non-event actually makes me feel sorry for people in public life. Yes, most of them have asked for the spotlight, but it’s got to be crazy-making to have to monitor your every word, facial expression, and glance-and then be called to account for the slightest instance of simply being human. I have a fondness for Sarko-he’s such a combination of boldness, passion, and insecurity. Watching the video you can’t help being tickled by his delighted amusement at life’s passing parade.

Photograph of Nicolas Sarkozy at the G8 summit by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images.