What Do the French Think of Trump and Macron’s Bromance?

What Do the French Think of Trump and Macron’s Bromance?
Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen.

Okay, by now you’ve probably heard enough about Le Bromance, aka the star-crossed presidents that are Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron.

The French president’s visit has prompted plenty of political playfulness between the higher-ups (air kisses and knee pats and dandruff brush-downs, mon Dieu!). But what does the French news cycle have to say about the dynamic duo?

Well, to start, it’s aware that Americans are scratching their heads over this sudden display of affection. “In the United States, the press questions the ‘bromance’ between Trump and Macron,” reads a headline in Le Figaro (shoutout to Google Translate!).

After a humorous definition of what the American “bromance” means (“a contraction of the words ‘brother’ and ‘romance'”), it follows a train of thought similar to many US outlets: Is this true, Obama/Biden-style buddy bonding, or a calculated power game?

In an earlier Le Figaro interview with scholar Lauric Henneton, he puts it plain and simple: Macron has a lot to gain by winning Trump’s trust and affections. Talks about climate change, the Iran deal, and international relations in general will be easier if the two are simpatico.

Or maybe their friendship is built on a mutual power fascination, posits Le Parisien, with Trump craving the affirmation of a European power player and Macron relishing the chance to flex in the face of America—two animals circling the water hole.

So, is it all a psychological show of flattery or the real deal? In either language, the answer is pretty much the same: Who really knows?

One thing is for sure—this isn’t Macron’s first trip down bromance lane. Remember the amour between Macron and Justin Trudeau? Oui—so does France. Le Nouvel Observateur summed up their relationship with another pretty great bromance translation, as a “term designating a strong friendship between two men.”

As Macron’s American visit comes to a close, the duo must once again do the long-distance thing. But don’t worry—they’ll always have Paris.

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Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She previously was the editorial assistant at Walter Magazine in Raleigh, North Carolina, and freelanced for PoPVille and DCist. She lives in Adams Morgan.