The Frogmarch

"I've got to pull up my stakes and roll, man." --Jean-Jacques Libris de Kerouac

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sarko on 60 Minutes

When I was back in the States this summer, a lot of people asked me, "So what's this Sarkozy cat all about?" Here's a piece from 60 Minutes (13-min video here) that tries to get to that. Worth your time if you're interested in French politics.

It's interesting to note that most French people would regard Sarko's stomping out of the interview--when gently questioned about his then-happening divorce--as perfectly appropriate. Though l'affaire Sarko is front-page material here ("Why She Left Him!"; "Cécilia Turns the Page"; "The Other Man: Who Is He?"; etc.), the personal lives of politicians are off-limits in French interviews. Still, expect him to be savaged in the pages of the next Le Canard Enchainé, the political news weekly whose satire mostly goes right over my head.

[caption: "From now on, Sarkozy will no longer show his personal life...". That's a wicked caricature of de Villepin on the carpet in front of him.]

What the video does provide, though not explicitly, is a more nuanced view of why the French call him Sarko L'Americain: Not simply because, as the American media interpret it, he loves America and values hard work, freedom and opportunity... but because he's also arrogant, self-obsessed, and quick to anger.

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