Thursday, October 18, 2007


The now quasi-official (late word: now official) Sarkozy separation raises a number of questions. Some constitutional experts insist that a sitting president cannot divorce or be divorced. Le Monde, which writes partly in the conditional and partly in the indicative, maintains that the divorce agreement was prepared "several months" ago, "during the presidential campaign." Since then, the president's wife has served as an emissary to Libya and vacationed with him in New Hampshire in a house ostensibly rented by friends of hers. We are also told that the first lady, now back in Paris, posed tout spécialement for Paris Match, and France2 news last night reported that information about Cécilia's appearance before a judge in Nanterre came from "a person close to her" and "almost en direct." In other words, in contrast to the official silence being maintained by the Élysée, Cécilia seems to be chafing at the bit to tell her story, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, to shape the story that will be told about her. "La suite restera comme un cas de communication politique," writes Le Monde, but it seems that Cécilia has her own ideas about political communication and is thus far upstaging her husband with careful dispensations of information to selected relays.


Anonymous said...

While private life is private life, I think it's pretty sad that both candidates in the last election lied about their relationships. It says a lot about the French concept of being honest to voters. (Of course this is nowhere near as bad as Mitterand not saying he had cancer before being re-elected...)

But in Cécilia's case, it's especially egregious. She has the image of a golddigger, given her previous marriage to Jacques Martin, much older than her, and the fact that she went along with the charade to then skip out right after the election shows that she - and Nick - cares little about the role of the president. She may hate him, but couldn't she just do a Hillary and deal with it for the time he was president?

Anonymous said...

> kirkmc: The cancer was "gone" after 1981!! It only came back at the beginning of the 90's! What's the problem with that? Do you think I should have said : 'please vote for me, I have cancer'?!
You would have preferred to see Chirac president in 1988?????


HenryFTP said...

I'm not sure I see how the French concept of being honest to voters is so different from the American or British concept. It's hard to determine whether the lack of candour here is cynical or simply desperate. Anyone paying attention would have known that the domestic arrangements of both Sarkozy and Royal were a public charade and a private mess. To carry on the public charade in light of the notoriety strikes me more as the product of a desperate attempt to maintain the façade of bourgeois respectability. It's pathetic, particularly because real cynicism would have been Sarkozy presenting himself as a "compassionate conservative" when he really intended to be the agent of radical change. In that sense, with both Sarkozy and Royal playing a relatively straight bat with the voters on the issues, French politicians can claim to be more "honest" than the Anglo-Americans, who often steadfastly refuse to have adult conversations with the voters about the things that matter.