Jilted Johnson: Biden in beeline for Macron and Carrie at G7

Object of PM’s political desire embraces French president behind his back, then leaves him to wait while he greets his wife

Most of us have been there. You’ve put in the legwork, been as charming as you can muster, and they seem to be into it. Then you turn around to see them in the arms of another.

Boris Johnson certainly has. The prime minister had an awkward moment, one that most teenagers could identify with, at Friday’s G7 summit photo call: Joe Biden, on whom he had expended a great deal of energy attempting to woo politically, warmly embraced his near neighbour – the French president, Emmanuel Macron – when his back was turned.

Biden and Macron share a joke together
A joking Biden and Macron. Photograph: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Johnson, who had evoked the memory of the working relationship between Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt as he tried to align himself with the US president, offered Biden an elbow bump, and then stood between him and Macron for the socially distanced family photograph.

Biden, Johnson and Macron take their places for the G7 family photo
Biden, Johnson and Macron take their places for the G7 family photo. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

The prime minister then led the G7 leaders as they filed away, but broke his stride to turn and see his neighbour and the object of his political desires walking together in a physical embrace. Apparently shaken, he lingered somewhat awkwardly near the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, as he waited for Biden and Macron to catch up.

Macron does his best to make amends with Johnson
Macron does his best to make amends with Johnson. Photograph: Neil Hall/INTERNATIONAL POOL/EPA

Nor was it the first time in the day that Johnson had been in second place for the US president’s attention. Meeting the British prime minister and his wife earlier in the afternoon, Biden told him to “wait a minute” so he could approach Carrie Johnson first and was pictured with his hand quite low on her back.

Biden greets Symonds
Elbow bumps as Biden greets Carrie Johnson Photograph: Phil Noble/AP

Still, at least the world leaders no longer have to deal with a Trump-style 19-second pseudo-hardman handshake. It was Covid-secure elbow-bumps all round as they met for the photo call.


Kevin Rawlinson

The GuardianTramp

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