Did you notice how Trump spun his Macron take-down?

by Alexander O. Onukwue

Trump may be a brash man but he knows that Emmanuel Macron is his match.

In the interview with the New York Times, the American President tried to play down the fact that the 39-year old has neither been intimidated by him, nor by his hand shake.

If you have been following Donald Trump’s videos, particularly of his meetings with anyone from Presidents to lower ranking officials, where he has to shake hands, there would be no doubt that he makes a conscious effort to make them feel the grip of his hand.

Responding to the New York Times reporters on the question of Macron being “deferential” to him, Trump said Macron is “a great guy”, “strong” and “loves holding my hand”.

As if to emphasise that he understood that attention has been paid on Macron’s matching grip, Trump would repeat the “love holding my hand” defense two other times within the space of two minutes during the interview.

Beside those whom he has at one time or another decline (or inadvertently ignored) to shake – like the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel earlier in the Year – he’s done his alpha male thing with virtually every person he’s had to shake.

It caused a buzz on the internet when First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump, on the visit to Saudi Arabia, apparently shunned her husband’s reaching hand towards hers –something that was seen by some as a kind of takedown on Trump’s supposed bully-handshake.

Step forward, Emmanuel Macron, the young President of France.

Macron, riding on the wave of local and international acclaim for how he won the Presidency against established platforms with his own party, has been cheered as the new hope of the West, beside Merkel of Germany. When Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accord, Macron’s statement in response was ‘Make the Planet Great Again’, a counter-play to Trump’s America First policy.

Macron has not made Trump an enemy, but has sought to show that he can match him. As though by a deliberate act, Macron has never let Trump win the handshake duel, dictating the direction and vibration of both hands whenever both men pose for the cameras.

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