Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'I love the Socialists'

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ukraine: Web users call for international assistance

Read more

WEB NEWS

France: Fighting political corruption with transparency

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

South Africa: Four men found guilty of shooting Rwandan exile

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - August 29th, 2014

Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Armeli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • Anti-government protesters storm Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

  • Putin calls for talks on 'statehood' for east Ukraine

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Rescue efforts under way after French apartment block blast

    Read more

  • PSG trounce Saint-Etienne 5-0 with Ibrahimovic hat trick

    Read more

  • Poland marks 75 years since German invasion of WWII

    Read more

  • Israel appropriates large tracts of West Bank land

    Read more

  • Tension rises in Hong Kong as Beijing rejects open elections

    Read more

  • French police stop 'teenage jihadist' from flying to Syria

    Read more

  • Kidnapped Yazidi women 'sold to Islamists' in Syria

    Read more

  • Confusion reigns after Lesotho 'coup'

    Read more

  • French PM vows to safeguard 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Inside Novoazovsk – the pro-Russians' latest conquest

    Read more

Americas

Did Obama almost ditch politics for painting in Paris?

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-26

After the diplomatic love fest between Barack Obama and French President François Hollande last month, more proof of the US president’s affection for France has surfaced: a postcard that Obama sent while on vacation in Paris in 1988.

Quoted and shown online in a New York Times article on Obama’s past as a Chicago community organiser with ties to the “social justice wing” of the Catholic church, the postcard finds the then-27-year-old falling under the French capital’s spell.

“[…] I wander around Paris, the most beautiful, alluring, maddening city I’ve ever seen,” he writes to Cynthia Norris, the director of the Chicago Archdiocese’s black Catholics office at the time. “[O]ne is tempted to chuck the whole organising/political business and be a painter on the banks of the Siene [sic].”

At the end of the brief message (transcribed in its entirety below), Obama adds that his French skills aren’t quite up to snuff. “[…] I don’t know a word of French, I’m left speechless most of the time,” he writes.

The front of the postcard is a picture of the famous Cathedral of Notre Dame, one of the City of Light’s primary tourist attractions.

What exactly Obama found “maddening” in Paris remains, at least for now, an unsolved mystery; perhaps it was the French capital’s notorious coolness toward tourists.

Cynthia —

Hope all goes well with you; I understand you left something in my mailbox, and I trust Shaila retrieved it.

Meanwhile, I wander around Paris, the most beautiful, alluring, maddening city I’ve ever seen; one is tempted to chuck the whole organising/political business and be a painter on the banks of the Seine.

You’ll be amused to know that since I don’t know a word of French, I’m left speechless most of the time.

Wish you a fruitful summer.

Love, Barack

 

© Twitter

Date created : 2014-03-26

  • USA

    Secret Service agents dropped from Obama trip after night of drinking

    Read more

  • UKRAINE

    Obama admits Russia unlikely to leave Crimea

    Read more

  • Ukraine

    Obama says Russia's Ukraine policy reveals 'weakness'

    Read more

COMMENT(S)