People are expressing bemusement that Presidents Trump and Macron should get on well, since they seem such different people. Surely a clue lies in their shared title. They are the only important executive presidents in the western world, so they have that particular combination of real power and ceremonial pomp which is rightly denied to prime ministers. They love it. Besides, they are not so different, though M.Macron is Gallicly suave and Mr Trump is Yankee brash, and the former is small and thin, the latter neither. Both seem to be egomaniacs who believe in and embody führerprinzip (though luckily neither leads a country which gives it anything like full rein). They recognise it in one another. They can pump it up further by mutual admiration. ‘And the flags. And the trumpets. And so many eagles,’ as Eliot puts it in ‘Coriolan’. America first! Europe first!
This is an extract from Charles Moore’s Spectator Notes, from the forthcoming issue of the magazine, out Thursday