vendredi 8 février 2008


When Jacques Chirac was elected President of the French Republic nearly 13 years ago I remember the general feeling of relief that could be felt in the American media. At long last Mitterrand, the socialist who dared to include communist Ministers in his Government in 1981 was gone.

At least, an energetic openly pro-American politician was at the head of the arguably most anti-American country in western Europe.

The romance lasted some months but rather rapidly there was a sense of delusion when the energetic one lost the battle against the railways strikers 8 months after he had been elected. And after 9 years of "inactivity" came the final blow: J.Chirac opposed the Iraq war and thus became the most hated foreign politician in the US...

Last year it was Nicolas Sarkozy's turn to be elected as President. You could see the American MSM swoon in admiration with the little man who professed his adulation for eveything American. An energetic, incredibly dynamic President who had nothing more important to do than to pay a visit to the lame duck President Bush had become, who spent a couple of weeks in America for his vacation and who eventually came in the heart of the American Congress to tell his audience how much he loved America.

To top it all, the renegade went so far as to condemn the French arrogance regarding her position à propos the Iraq war. Now, a submissive French politician: That's what seems to be the pattern of friendship in Washington.

But wait... For some weeks now, I can read some questioning in the American press. In Newsweek (or here) for example or in the International Herald Tribune or the Financial Times. What is the man really up to? He doesn't seem to be able to deliver all the promises he made. His economic policies (if there's even one) is... bizarre, seemingly inconsistent.

Dear American friends, you're just witnessing the beginning... But one thing is sure: The French didn't elect him because of his childish admiration for all things American but because they thought he will pull them out of the doldrums they feel they're in.

What the French want, like all people around the world, is an increase of their purchasing power, not to be told about their President's marital status or love for Elvis Presley and Sylvester Stallone.

By and large, hardly 8 months after he's been elected, a majority of the French are now ashamed of Nicolas Sarkozy's crass illiteracy and gross vulgarity. That he is "pro-American" is the last of their concern.

It's the economy, stupid!

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