The brand new French president is no push- over and this he made clear with a single handshake that caused a minor media earthquake. A tense, overly long, white knuckled handshake shared by the newly sworn in French president and his American counterpart kept the media buzzing.
When Macron met the U.S. President for the first time in official capacity last week, he made it clear that he was not intimidated by the latter by greeting other leaders before he acknowledged Trump. This seems to have gone down badly with Trump, who, as has been evident from earlier meetings, likes to control the handshake, often even yanking the other towards him with a jerky motion. In Macron's case, Trump failed to make much of an impact on the younger man though. Macron outwardly appeared completely calm and in control while videos of the strange handshake show that both men were battling it out fiercely via their hand- shakes. Whitened knuckles and tight jaws indicated the power struggle taking place which ended with Trump having to try to wriggle his hand free from the iron grip of the French prime minister.
Macron explains the handshake
Later on, Macron also had an explanation for the very unusual hand shake that was witnessed by the world. He clarified that it was not just Trump, but also the Russian and Turkish leaders who weigh relationships in the form of a balance of power but he himself did not see it that way. He explained that while public abuse was not his intention at all, he wanted to make it very clear that when it comes to bilateral talks, no one should expect him to be a push over. Calling a weak handshake a symbolic concession, he reiterated that he would not make any, and that this was the way to garner respect.
While Macron has made it clear that he is a prime minister to reckon with, he still has to prove himself in politics for this is his first elected office. However, it does appear that Trump strategy of gaining a psychological advantage over his peers with his handshake control quirk is no secret anymore. May world leaders have already caught on and have responded in kind. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently beat Trump at his own game by making sure that the latter could not pull him towards himself during the handshake, thus becoming a winner of sorts of that power play.