A View of France

For the past few days there’s been much breathlessing in the corner about Sarkozy. I don’t know enough about him to comment. But I found it interesting that this morning, K Lo asked whether the love affair is over. She was referencing this article in The Times of London:

Nicolas Sarkozy, the right-wing reformer who becomes French President on Wednesday, upset both the United States and his opponents yesterday by offering the job of Foreign Minister to a Socialist veteran with anti-American credentials.

Hubert Védrine, 59 — a former senior aide to the late President Mitterrand — who served as Foreign Minister from 1997 to 2002, was considering the proposal yesterday.

The prospect of Mr Védrine running foreign policy has infuriated the beleaguered Socialists and amazed the diplomatic world because he is the architect of a doctrine for containing what he called the abusive “steamroller” of American power. His views on “the hyperpower” — the term that he coined in the 1990s — would appear to conflict with Mr Sarkozy’s pro-Atlantic views.

Mr Sarkozy approached Mr Védrine and other figures from the Left as part of his scheme to forge a slimmed-down government that will be politically inclusive and not limited to his Gaullist Union for a Popular Movement.

As I see it, its way too early to tell exactly what Sarkozy has in mind. But I do remind the reader: our President said he was going to be a uniter, not a divider. Not too different from being “politically inclusive.” In addition, our President got a number of people who should have known better to little by little buy into his nonsense. (Big figures like Powell, smaller figures like Mankiw, and perhaps Védrine will do the same.) Finally, GW has shown no concern about pissing off friends and allies.

I submit that yes, the love affair is over. The Corner loves whoever GW loves, and GW can only love a poodle. But Sarkozy might yet turn out to be just like GW, in which case K Lo is not going to like him at all.