Sarkozy Rolls out His Tongue
McNicoll, Tracy, Newsweek International
Byline: Tracy McNicoll
His outspoken style is unprecedented, unpopular, and now threatens to ruin his presidency.
French cartoonists are having great sport with their president, portraying him in the Adventures of Nicolas Sarkozy as the king of "bling," an impish Casanova full of swashbuckling tales of derring-do. Of course, he's provided some great material. Trading one glamorous wife for another, dashing off to Chad in November to rescue a group of French journalists in jail, declaring himself "ready" last week to rescue hostage Ingrid Betancourt from her guerrilla captors in the Colombian jungle.
Sarkozy looks more like the protagonist of a bande dessinee, a graphic novel in the style of "Tintin" than the head of a well-oiled government machine. Less than a year ago, he campaigned to be "the purchasing-power president" who would lift the French economy and get a country accustomed to 35-hour weeks back to work. He has started the ball rolling on tough reforms, including ending special retirement privileges for certain public-sector employees and making work contracts more flexible. But he has failed to deliver fully due to a penchant for dwelling on issues that are much larger (God) and smaller (taxi fares) than those he campaigned on.
On many occasions, …
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Publication information: Article title: Sarkozy Rolls out His Tongue. Contributors: McNicoll, Tracy - Author. Magazine title: Newsweek International. Volume: 151. Issue: 11 Publication date: March 17, 2008. Page number: Not available. © 2009 Newsweek, Inc. All rights reserved. Any reuse, distribution or alteration without express written permission of Newsweek is prohibited. For permission: www.newsweek.com. COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale Group.