Sarko’s Last Stand

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When he was first elected president in 2007, besting his Socialist challenger Segolene Royal, Nicolas Sarkozy boasted a political appeal that transcended party lines. Though technically the “conservative” candidate, he won even traditionally blue-collar voters that leaned left.

Five years on, that crossover appeal seems like a distant memory. While opinions of Sarkozy still cross party lines, what binds them now is popular dissatisfaction with his tenure. Thus Sarkozy’s disappointing showing in the first round of presidential voting this Sunday, which saw him come in second behind his Socialist challenger, Francois Hollande. With the deciding May 6th runoff looming, Sarkozy’s days may be numbered.

No small share of the damage has been self-inflicted. For instance, much of the early goodwill was sacrificed immediately after Sarkozy’s 2007 election, when he chose to celebrate his win in the company of an exclusive entourage at a ritzy restaurant on the Chaps Elysées. The choice of venue, for which Sarkozy later expressed regret, earned him the moniker of being the “bling bling president” and an attendant reputation for flash and opulence, a particularly radioactive combination at time when the country faces tough economic times. It hardly bolstered Sarkozy’s common-man appeal that, soon after, he went through a high-profile divorce, leaving his wife Cecelia Ciganer to marry the Italian-born super model Carla Bruni. In recent days, he has struck a remorseful pose, apologizing for not “understanding the symbolic dimension of the president’s role and not being solemn enough in my acts.” But that may be too little too late.

If Sarkozy did not live up to the symbolic demands of the French presidency, neither did he make good on many of his policy promises. Elected on what by French standards was a relatively free-market, conservative platform, Sarkozy has not governed that way. Despite modest reforms like raising the retirement age from 60 to 62, Sarkozy has largely broken promises to grow the economy, trim France’s bloated public sector, and embrace fiscal discipline.

To the contrary, he has launched a number of dubious and expensive spending programs. Rather than reforming the country’s generous welfare system, he has relied on debt to sustain it. He also passed a $26 billion stimulus to prop up the French car industry and fund projects like high-speed trains. That was preceded by a $25 billion strategic investment fund to “protect” French industry from foreign takeovers. And the debt goes on. Sarkozy has promised to take out an additional $52 billion “grand loan” that would be invested in green technologies and a “gigantic campus” for a new university in a Paris suburb.

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  • Youssef

    An Algerian Christian was sentenced to five years in prison for “shaking the faith” of Muslims last May. Currently, “Kadar” is awaiting a decision on his appeal.

    Kadar, who regularly shares his faith with Muslims in the city of Oran, was discussing his belief in Christ with a man at an outdoor food court last May when the man became angry and accused Kadar of insulting Muhammad. Police arrested Kadar and found a large amount of Christian materials in his apartment.

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    • Fred Dawes

      total nazi/red ideals and we will see it here, soon Americans will see jails for asking question it is the plan of evil. see Alex Jones.

      • Oleg

        Folding the aluminum foil into hats again are we Fred?

        • Fred Dawes

          open your eyes don't be one more fool who can't see facts

  • Juddea

    Sarkozy is apparently the French version of GW Bush. He is declared a "Conservative" by the press, and considers himself a "Conservative" as well. The problem being of course is that he is not even close to being a Conservative so instead of implementing fundementally Conservative policies and making things better, he implements Liberal policies, makes things worse, and causes all the problems to be blamed on Conservatism causing the shifting of the political spectrum so that a Socialist is elected next. So like after Bush, a Socialist is viewed as a reasonable Liberal alternative to the status quo. And we in America are seeing how that will play out.

    The real problem however is that after the Socialist, if you attempt to elect another phony Conservative like say, John McCain or Mitt Romney, the cycle repeats causing the Spectrum to shift even furhter left. If you all think Barack Obama is bad, wait until Romney is done.

    • koran kid

      But it is hard to vote tactically for the continuation of a rotten reign so that the incumbent gets to face his own music. Perhaps everyone on FP should carry on harrying Barry, but then vote for him! They should have done that with Brown in the UK. Seems so hard to get the right candidate in at the right time. And yet without that, the rot seems to accelerate. I think that old lady had it spot on when she likened Mitt to an empty walnut shell. I hope the Donald doesn't waste any cash on him like Soros did on Gore. He should run and split the Repub vote, however repugnant Barry is, if he wants to go down in history as a courageous big thinking American patriot, because a move like that takes big balls. Hell, he might even breeze in himself!

    • Fred Dawes

      the guy is a tool of the banker Globalsts.

  • Rosine Ghawji

    19% of the French voted FN> Bayrou got 9% the right wing is still in control . Sarkozy knows that he is in trouble but he still can make it….Scarecrow Hollande has poor records in Correze … and at the end of the day , most of the French will vote the lesser evil.

    • JacqueShellaque

      I certainly hope so, mais j'en doute.

  • Rosine Ghawji

    Jacque si on fait le total des voix de droite….. la droite est majoritaire au premier tour. mais les faits sont la … Sarkozy a un bilan tres lourd, difficile a avaler meme pour ses partisans. Pour moi . c'est un grand malade nerveux ,,,,et il est depasse par les evements… Son discours recemment ressemblait plus a un enterrement ……
    Ce qui est rassurant, c'est que les Francais se sont deplaces en masse pour le premier tour. Le taux d'abstention est minime.Personne ne va rester les deux pieds dans le meme sabot entre les deux tours et sincerement je pense que la droite va l'emporter . Qui vivra ,verra

    • JacqueShellaque

      Souhaitons que vous ayez raison. But, even if, as you think, right-leaning voters rally to Sarkozy on the second ballot, I'm afraid his reelection would only buy a few more years before conditions in France degenerate to the breaking point with France's large and growing Muslim population, "courage identitaire" or not.

      • Rosine Ghawji

        I totally agree with you ….. on the breaking point..BUT….. if we have some FN influence ….. we can stop the immigration and send a lot of dangerous citizens back home. We need to stop the give away …allocations familiales. logement RMI … etc…. and a lot will go home on their own. We do have les harkis qui se sont battus pour la France and hate radical Islam. It is about 10% .of the Muslim population and they are on our side….. The French dont have the patience of the Americans….. we might have some bloody confrontation coming and as you say les identitaires se bougent and are doing a great job…

        • JacqueShellaque

          Rosine, I admire your spirit and wish I shared your optimism. From here, France appears as it likely was on the eve of WW II — demoralized and weakened by socialism, Marxism, and labour unions, easy prey to the more ideologically motivated Nazis despite belated desperate acts of heroism by patriotic French soldiers. Sarkozy's last stand may well be France's last stand.

          Ce n'est plus la France de Charles Martel; face à la ferveur et au fanatisme islamiques, la laïcité ne fait pas le poids. Que Dieu protège la France et lui vienne en aide, Lui qu'elle a abandonné.

      • Fred Dawes

        the people of that country must stand up and say no if this happen's all people will stand up and say no, don't be a Globalists fool.

  • nitacalles

    That's a pity. The quality of politics that people don't seem to be aware of is that politicians don't follow through on everything they promise. Then these people act surprised and awestruck that their candidate didn't follow through – To me they should just look to history for the success/failure rate of politicians and vote based on the average number of follow-throughs their candidate has before going into office.

  • mrbean

    What was it that General Schwartzkopf said abour the French? Ahhh yes,,, "Going to war without the French is like going hunting without your accordian." The majority of the French are communists who like to call themselves progessives. Hmmmmmm,.,, somewhat like the Democrats in America.

  • zenegg

    Hi. Let me add few comments on that, considering I'm a basic french man, aged 36. I was raised by socialists parents, but have no sympathy whatsoever for the Socialist Party nowadays. I'm trying to fix my own judgement with facts and common sense. Sarkozy, right after his election, went on a lended yacht for one week, in order to "get the big picture" of the function. I might like yachting, but he hereby revealed his lazy consideration for state functions. I hate this guy, but I want to give him a fair trial. He's active, but the money doesn't circulate for good, He's funny, but has no far view of the country evolution and life, he's intelligent, but to trick and bypass his rights and duties ; He's clever, just to get the good wife and sketchy rhetoric findings, He's charismatic, but has no historical nor cultural sense, He's agressive, but only to small thugs, (big ones are his friends) He's macho, but only when surrounded by police protection. He was elected, but were rapidly a deceiver, The flashlights quickly faded away. The other guy ? He might be all worse !! No charisma, no political scale, no vision, no strength, few friends…and is sadly attached to the doomed socialist african exploitation heritage ! It's a pity for France ! To have some good news, you'll have to come here and see for yourself. Come quick, after this summer we're done !!

  • Fred Dawes

    The fourth reich being made right in front of us all. and understand the Nazi is the communists only people don't get that fact.

  • Oleg

    I was never under any illusions that Sarkozy was a "Conservative" pretty much all mainstream French politicians are socialists that believe in big government, the difference believe in it more then others There are Germans that understand that big government is a problem, certainly many Brittons do as well, but in France there are not many true small "L" economic liberals ( by liberal I mean libertarian), most people believe in an interventionist approach as opposed to a free enterprise approach, why that is only they could explain. Somehow they think that by embracing free market capitalism that they will cease to be French and become American or worse, English, which is absolute nonsense.

  • guest

    Just like Obama. Burying the country in debt, and islam. Muzzie brohood is now treated like dignitaries, and these are not even checked at the border. Whats in their black bag?

  • mlcblog

    Seems to me that this is where the French have been headed all the time. Socialism from top to bottom. Now we'll see what they are really made of, as socialism always fails. Will they continue confused or comes to their senses?