French President Nicolas Sarkozy married his pop-star girlfriend, Carla Bruni, over the weekend following a whirlwind romance that prompted critics to question whether Sarkozy was paying enough attention to his job. The local mayor who conducted the civil ceremony at Elysee Palace said the Italian-born Bruni looked “ravishing,” and the president “wasn’t bad either.” (Toronto Globe and Mail)
What the commentators said
Maybe Sarkozy “can get himself back on course” politically now that his personal life is in order, said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. His “mood visibly soured” after “his October divorce abruptly brought the French Camelot to an end.” Sarkozy’s popularity sank as voters feared that their president was more concerned with his “glitzy,” rebound courtship of the singer and former supermodel Bruni than with the country’s economic problems. All will be forgiven if Sarkozy can regain “his political focus,” and “push ahead harder” with the economic reforms he promised.
The end of Sarkozy’s “playboy phase” might eventually help boost his political stock, said Charles Bremner in a London Times blog, but his premarital cavorting with Bruni—a gorgeous celebrity with a “prodigious roll call of past conquests” that includes Sir Mick Jagger—“earned him ridicule that will take time to erase.”
And things might even get worse with “this risky new addition to the Elysee Palace,” said Susan Sachs in The Washington Post (free registration). “Ever since Helen of Troy, it's been common knowledge that it can be dangerous to bring a beautiful woman into the castle,” but a beautiful woman with an “enchanting ability to turn the dramas of her sexual life into” popular songs? If things go wrong with Bruni, Sarkozy could end up “a lyric” in “a Billboard chart topper,” and it’s anybody’s guess how a politician recovers from that.