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French President's Strategy 2nd Victory
Sarkozy co-opting the opposition and forcing through reforms
Demian West (demianwest)     Print Article 
Published 2008-01-05 06:47 (KST)   
Following his May 2007victory in the French presidential election, Nicolas Sarkozy has enjoyed his political power. As the mainstream media has said, he's like a rock star in the political theater. Sarkozy is a conservative politician devoted to law and order. And he has launched some tremendous reforms in a great hurry.

First, Sarkozy has renewed the whole habit of politics by means of his so-called overture, the opening of his rightist government to centrist personalities as well as socialist or leftist politicians. He chose the socialist Bernard Kouchner and many young and cute women as ministers to build his rightist conservative government.

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As a matter of fact, this new policy was a major part of the centrist program of Francois Bayrou, who is the leader of the Party of the Center (the UDF renamed the MODEM). Nevertheless, Bayrou lost the presidential election. Afterward, the victorious Sarkozy was able to seduce many centrist ministers and socialists too.

This strategy looks like Sarkozy's second victory. And with such Machiavellian skill, Sarkozy has walked in a triumphal and stately march, with some childish criticism surging throughout from the wide but vague opposition. Actually, the leftist electorate and politicians have become more and more fixated in criticism based on dirty tricks, targeting the personality of Sarkozy and his family only.

Sarkozy recently divorced his wife, Cecilia, a former top model and actress. Just a few weeks later, he is now publicly courting top model and singer Carla Bruni. The lovebirds spent a very public holiday traveling in Egypt with a crowd of paparazzi buzzing around. The whole of French opinion echoed the buzz and one could read in the papers harsh criticism about Sarkozy, who was lowered to a would-be personality or some vulgar rock star.

On the other hand, the rightist electorate maintains their support for Sarkozy's policy because the young 50-year-old president and his beloved Carla Bruni evoke strangely the stately figures of a new John F. Kennedy with his first lady Jackie. This sounds like a cultural transfer to or Americanization of French society, which sees some deep change in the intellectual Paris in Saint-Germain-des-Pres, which was traditionally the sanctuary of the Marxist philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre and ultra leftists.

This overwhelming change has suddenly thrown the Socialist Party into great panic as the leftist camp stagnates more and more. The whole opposition seems so weakened that Sarkozy is able to gain more victories. Finally, Sarkozy could, in the years to come, be seen as a great president, on a level with -- the very criticized -- Francois Mitterrand.
©2008 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Demian West

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