French President Nicolas Sarkozy speaks at his campaign headquarters after the first round of French presidential elections in Paris, Apr. 22, 2012. Voters will decide between Socialist Francois Hollande and Sarkozy in a May runoff election.
"Why Americans Should Hope that Nicolas Sarkozy Gets Re-Elected"
Op-Ed, The New Republic
April 21, 2012
Author: Pierpaolo Barbieri, Former Ernest May Fellow in History and Policy, International Security Program, 2011–2013
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: International Security
If the latest polls—and the accompanying press coverage—are to be believed, Nicolas Sarkozy's time as president of France will soon come to an end. In the all-important run-off election scheduled for May 6, most believe the incumbent will lose to his Socialist challenger, François Hollande. This is a prospect that no doubt worries Sarkozy and his supporters in France. But it should also worry people elsewhere in Europe, as well as here in the United States.
To be sure, Sarkozy's unmaking has been a long time in coming. Early in his term, he allowed himself to be portrayed as a friend of France's rich and powerful. He has also been repeatedly accused of tarnishing the dignity of his office on account of a messy divorce and the subsequent wedding to songwriter Carla Bruni. On a personal level, the French are simply not enamored with the man they have dubbed "President Bling-Bling."...
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