Merkel’s Men

It’s good she has many men in her life. Not only a husband but many colleagues, other leaders at home and abroad, who manifestly are male and who treat her well. For if Angela Merkel had to rely for personal or political sustenance from a man like Donald Trump, she would wither.

The most telling moment of their Friday summit was the two of them sitting alongside, their chairs close together, when the German Chancellor asked the American president if he wanted to shake hands for the benefit of the cameras. He did not respond – or even look at the woman immediately to his right.

Later in the day Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, explained away, or tried to, the president’s remarkable rudeness by saying that he did not hear Merkel’s question. No matter. For even if he heard not a word, his body language gave him away. Staring stony-faced and straight ahead while she leaned in and proffered her hand – you can see it on youtube – was as cold a shoulder as any eminent host might give an eminent guest.

Good for Merkel. She did what she could under the circumstance. Turned out the president was not only outmatched but outclassed.

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