Chirac Off The Sauce

The truly bizarre story in the NYT today about Jacques Chirac's interview do-over prompts a couple of responses. One is that, once again, the French are wimping out on deterrence in the Middle East. But the other is that Chirac, like any self-respecting Parisian, is always more lucid after a decent bottle of wine:

The president had a different demeanor during the two encounters.

In the first interview, which took place in the late morning, he appeared distracted at times, grasping for names and dates and relying on advisers to fill in the blanks. His hands shook slightly. When he spoke about climate change, he read from prepared talking points printed in large letters and highlighted in yellow and pink.

By contrast, in the second interview, which came just after lunch, he appeared both confident and comfortable with the subject matter.

It must have come from one of the better cellars.