Sarkozy co-hosts Slightly Uncomfortable Question T

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President BushFrench President Nicolas Sarkozy

\ Traditionally, there are four questions allowed at bilateral press conferences. Each leader calls on two reporters, typically choosing members of the press from their own country.\

\ Mr. Bush answered the first question about Pakistan, and then waited expectantly for Mr. Sarkozy to offer his own thoughts. \

\ Mr. Sarkozy, however, just stood there, and so Mr. Bush expected he was going to move on and call on a French reporter.\

\ “You want to call on somebody?” Mr. Bush said.\

\ “You know, in France, I don’t choose. I don’t pick the journalists,” Mr. Sarkozy said in French, with the translation adding to the awkwardness.\

\ “You don’t get to choose? Who chooses? I choose?” Mr. Bush said, laughing. “Who would you like me to choose?”\

\ But then, Mr. Sarkozy made a vague gesture towards the reporters.\

\ “Oh, he chose. Wait a minute,” Mr. Bush said, still laughing. “Didn’t last very long, did it?”\

\ And Mr. Sarkozy argued that he did not, in fact, call on any specific reporter.\

\ “I didn’t choose. I indicated a general direction,” Mr. Sarkozy said.\

\ When it came time for Mr. Sarkozy to call on a reporter a second time, he again made a vague sweep of his hand towards the reporters, looking annoyed. \

\ — Jon Ward, White House correspondent, The Washington Times

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