Praise from a vacationing French President Nicolas Sarkozy and a down-home welcome from President Bush to the family compound in Maine this weekend signaled a radical switch in the tense relations between the two nations. The leaders were relaxed and affable with one another as they boated, chatted and chomped on hotdogs and burgers at Kennebunkport.
"It's a great country," said the conservative French leader, in a bid to distance himself from the previous administration. "I'm happy to be here. The United States is a close friend of France." Bush responded: "Beautiful. We've got to go eat a hamburger." The rapprochement had its limits: Bush declined to speak French. “I can barely speak English," he quipped.