Trump-Macron Handshake Round Two: How the U.S. President Can Make America Great Again on Bastille Day

Trump Macron
A combination photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump (L) trying twice to let go of a handshake with France's President Emmanuel Macron (R) as Macron holds tight. How can Trump win the next round? Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

It was the political death match of the year so far—and it's about to get a second leg.

When President Donald Trump met his liberal French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in Brussels in May, their handshake for the cameras swiftly became the stuff of legend. In a few moments, the vast weight of two clashing ideologies compressed before the eyes of the world.

Macron subsequently made clear he'd deliberately given it his all: "My handshake with him was not innocent," he said.

So both men will presumably be putting in some time with a grip strengthener in advance of July 14, the French holiday of Bastille Day, when, the White House confirmed Wednesday, Trump will visit Macron in Paris.

In May, Macron probably came out a little on top. So how can Trump make sure he scores an equalizer this time round? Here's some ideas:

Cover his hands in vaseline

Macron comes in for the shake, ends up fumbling with Trump's extended palm like it's a floundering carp. Score one to America.

Bring a disturbingly realistic prosthetic arm

Trump meets the determined Frenchman's grip full on… only to watch him recoil in horror as the leathery paw he's holding comes off in his own. Extra points for some kind of launching mechanism that showers the meeting room of the Élysée in fake blood. U.S.A! U.S.A!

Sit down ready for the shake, but then blow a thin, reedy whistle like the one Captain Von Trapp uses in The Sound Of Music, whereupon every member of the Trump family enters in a jaunty line and shakes Macron's hand one by one

From Melania to Ivanka, right down to young Barron. By the end, Le président is a little freaked out and very sore, ready for the Donald to strike.

Repeatedly address Macron as "Angela"

Trump ignores all attempts to explain that he is not meeting the German chancellor, meets any urgent whispers from aides with a look of mildly annoyed bemusement and takes advantage of the confusion to launch a bonecrusher.

Don't shake hands

Sometimes the best general doesn't even have to enter the battlefield, as Sun Tzu probably said at some point. The president just fixes the cameras with that patented Trump expression of confused indifference. At some point, he rises slowly and walks backwards. Away from the cameras and the questions. Back into the calm silence of the hallway. Nobody can touch the hands of the president of these United States of America if he doesn't want them to.