Friday, January 12, 2007

Sarkozy history

This weekend the UMP will nominate Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy as its candidate for the French presidency. The AP is running a breif but telling history of Sarkozy's quite remarkable rise from immigrant son to potential president. It also unintentially reveals that Sarkozy is the only mainstream candidate that offers real reform and change.

What would be more unthinkable: a French president who doesn't drink wine, one who proudly considers himself pro-American, or one who thinks France has been too arrogant in world affairs?

In Nicolas Sarkozy, all of the above would apply.

Sarkozy says he wants to snap France out of what he calls its outdated ways. To many, the French are overtaxed, overburdened by government fees that crimp innovation, too enamored with the French language — he wants them to speak better English — and ill-prepared for globalization.

The article also relates the now famous story of how Sarkozy formed his close and contentious political bond with Jacques Chirac. The young 20-year old Sarkozy was told to speak for five minutes at a political meeting by then Prime Minister Chirac, but ended up orating for 20.

It also mentions the way in which Sarkozy will be nominated. Apparently he is trying for a more American style convention, with a large audience and huge sports-like video screens. Whether such immensity can propel forward a man not known for his stature will have to be seen.

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