Upstaged by the president

PARIS -- Often, the second press day at an auto show is a little more relaxed after the onslaught of major news conferences jammed into the first day.

Not today. Walking into the Paris expo grounds, we media types encountered swarms of riot police -- combat boots, sidearms, nasty-looking truncheons and all that.

I was puzzled. Perhaps a gang of thieves had targeted the new Lambo, which would be totally understandable.

I headed off to Tesla's press conference. There the Tesla communications people explained: French President Nicolas Sarkozy had arrived up at Hall 1 to do a show walk and press conference.

It was nice to know that the heavy security was there for a fairly nonthreatening reason. Not so nice for Tesla, which had a lower-than-expected media turnout.