Irritated by hysteria surrounding the newcomer, Nicolas Sarkozy spent the year after his election issuing veiled insults and patronising digs. Elysée officials briefed behind the scenes that the US president was a "cold fish", telling Le Figaro that "relations were easier with Bush".
But after suffering wipeout in local elections this month and facing speculation that his marriage is on the rocks, Mr Sarkozy has suddenly found the tables have turned. It is the French president who is struggling with the lowest approval ratings since taking office, as Mr Obama rides high on the back of finally getting his health reform passed and negotiating a nuclear disarmament deal with Russia. Mr Sarkozy now desperately needs the US trip to be a success to help restore his image as the man who would return France to former glory.
So when he arrived in Washington yesterday, Mr Sarkozy was ecstatic to learn the magnanimous Mr Obama had decided to invite him round for dinner.For more: Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy to bury the hatchet - Telegraph