Why did the French president make such an effort to stand next to Trump at the G20 Summit?
When Donald Trump literally shoved his way past Montenegro’s prime minister to be at the front of a group photo of NATO leaders in March, the internet had a field day with the president’s strong-arming ways.
On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron displayed his own method of getting around several world leaders before a photo op at the G20 Summit so he could stand next to Trump.
Watch as Macron graciously makes his way past Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in order to stand on the of Trump, who was standing at the far end of the bottom row of leaders. The question is why Macron made such an effort? Was it because he was trying to make one last chance at convincing Trump to return the U.S. back into the Paris Climate Accord (if that was the case, Macron failed)? Was Macron discussing handshake technique?
Or was Macron simply trolling Trump and imitating his move from March? After all, Macron trolled Trump after he pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Accord, saying the rest of the world would “Make Our Planet Great Again” and teaming up with Arnold Schwarzenegger to mock Trump on Twitter.
Or maybe it was just because that’s where Macron actually was supposed to be. As the Hill notes, “Protocol for the traditional family photo means those who have been in office the longest get the center positions in the photo. The only exception is the host nation, meaning German Chancellor Angela Merkel gets the front-and-center spot. Trump, who has been president for less than seven months, was positioned near the end of the first row right next to newly elected Macron.”
Whatever the reason, Macron was much gentler than Trump in getting to the spot he wanted to be. And yet, he was just as effective at reaching his ultimate goal. There might be a lesson in there somewhere.