Quel culot! After taking credit for overcoming the economic crisis and saving the euro, President Sarkozy announced tonight that he was going to lead the Arab world into a new era of liberty ... by reviving the Union for the Mediterranean and replacing Alliot-Marie with Juppé and Hortefeux with Guéant.
I'm afraid his speechwriter Henri Guaino just wasn't up to the challenge of putting lipstick on this pig. Not only did he revive his old hobbyhorse--the stillborn Club Med--but he couldn't even be bothered to explain how a ministerial change in France was going to change things up in the Mediterranean. It was a speech of breathtaking vacuity. When I measure the change over the past three years, I am sometimes flabbergasted: there used to be a certain flair in these high rhetorical moments. Now, nothing but bathos.