Antony Blinken has a delicate job in Paris after submarine row
Not long ago, Secretary of State John Kerry’s thin French connections to one of Blinken’s predecessors drew ridicule from conservatives, implying that Mr. Kerry, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, was somehow less than fully American. (or “looks” French,” as Donald L. Evans, the commerce secretary to former President George W. Bush, once quipped.
Compared to Mr. Blinken, however, Mr. Carey – who learned French at a Swiss boarding school and spent summers at his grandparents’ house in coastal Brittany – was a tourist at the Eiffel Tower.
After Mr. Blinken’s mother married her second husband in 1971, Samuel Pisar – a prominent Polish-born diplomat, lawyer and political figure who had relocated to Paris years earlier – invited 9-year-old Antony to live with him. Brought it
Judith Blinken quickly made her mark in the French capital. A former director of music at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, she emerged as a kind of cultural ambassador in Paris, helping to promote institutions such as the now-closed American Center in Paris. A 1993 Chicago Tribune profile described her as an impeccable French speaker and “impeccable hostess” who “dresses French women with ease and confidence.” She often entertained at the family home off the upscale Avenue Foch in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, “a very modern, all-white bi-level apartment filled with major art pieces.”
Mr Blinken attended cole Active Billingue, a school in central Paris not far from the Arc de Triomphe. His classmates included Robert Mali, a lifelong friend who is now the State Department’s special envoy for Iran. Mr. Blinken quickly learned French and integrated into the local culture, while still finding ways to embrace his American roots: when the first McDonald’s opened in Paris, he ran there with friends and became a regular customer. Went. He also fell in love with American rock music, playing guitar in a band that performed upon his high school graduation.
As a teenager in Paris, he took an interest in international politics, and distanced himself from friends with hostile views of the United States at a time when left-wing criticisms of the Cold War were common. In an interview with the New York Times in June, during his first visit to France as foreign minister, Mr Blinken called his time in Paris “a life-changing experience”, which helped him “to be able to see his country”. allowed. A different perspective. And that was a very powerful thing.”
Mr. Blinken left France in 1980 to attend Harvard University and Columbia Law School, then returned for two years to work at a Paris law firm.
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