Zut alors! C'est une blague!

Many people in the blog-o-world, including several of my Atlantic colleagues, have noted the, umm, similarity between Barack Obama's most famous poster and the recent "SarkObama" campaign by Nicolas Sarkozy in France.

Loyal Atlantic reader Edward Goldstick sent me a note suggesting that I read what the posters actually say. As soon as you do so, it becomes evident that they're not pro-Sarkozy posters at all! They're an elegant little bit of jiujitsu to both mock and pressure Sarkozy by appearing to commit him to positions more progressive/leftist than he in fact holds.

"Produce clean and sustainable energy for Europe," the one on the upper left says. "Yes we can!" "Make polluters pay," says the next one down. "Yes we can!"

Others are in the same vein. And, as it turns out from a story in Le Monde (in French, here) published five days ago, this is part of a guerrilla campaign by Greenpeace to push its climate-change programs during EU talks on the summit in Poznan, Poland, this month.

Ah, the subtle French. But at least we know that Sarkozy is not as derivative as he seemed -- and that it takes much longer for material to make its way from the mainstream French press into English than the other way around.