FIGHTIN’ WORDS

Sarkozy Hurls Insults at World Leaders

This is an interesting approach to diplomacy: During one eventful lunch this week, Nicolas Sarkozy managed to call President Obama’s decisions inadequate, belittle Angela Merkel’s leadership in Germany, and suggest that Spain’s José Luis Zapatero is stupid. “He is not always up to scratch with decisions and efficiency,” Sarkozy was quoted as saying of Obama. Of Merkel’s economic policies: “Once she realized the state of her banks and her car industry, she had no choice but to come round to my position.” And, in a grand finale, Sarkozy—described by other leaders as hyperactive and overfamiliar, often texting during important meetings—allowed that the Spanish prime minister might not be “very intelligent.” (The Elysée firmly denies this last comment.)