Sarko the Superstar

So it looks as though President Nicolas Sarkozy of France is likely to marry his new girlfriend, former supermodel Carla Bruni. It’s fun to watch, even though this country is by and large ignoring it (which itself is interesting, considering the French speaking continent is utterly obsessed with it) – such a clearly nasty, Blairite, cynical opportunist divorcing after taking office, getting together with Bruni, using her again in clear Blairite fashion to divert the media from negative news for him, and then allowing her to seal the deal. The politics coming out of this are fascinating – are they also mirroring our 1997-2003 when we really liked our Tony?

Well as the Times points out, if the French weren’t bothered they wouldn’t lap up the saturation coverage the two are getting. The French speaking media on the European continent is absolutely obsessed with the drama, be it staged (Disneyland Paris) or not (Egypt – oh that was staged too). His political opponents (who are actually right about him – he is narcissistic and is a really nasty character) are quite appalled of course – they would be. It’s not seemly for a French President to be dallying in public like this with a young, unmarried lady. It wasn’t seemly though in 1992, when Bill Clinton kicked off the Arsenio Hall Show wearing shades and playing the saxophone. Granted this lax attitude to the expectations of office ultimately led to his political downfall, but the Americans started out loving it, as the French are spellbound by Sarko now. It’s new, it’s different – a celebrity’s the political leader. His political opponents (for now) are missing the point. Sarko knows this.

Of course they’re hypocrites. Every single president of the current republic has had many women on the side, but there was a tacit agreement for it not to be spoken about in the media. This president really can’t be bothered with all that – such a waste of time. It’s fun to watch, even though I can’t stand him. He’s dipping precariously in the polls, but given that he’s got at least another six years in office I can’t imagine he cares.

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