France has always had a tradition of Letat,cest moi. The Sarkozy Derivation,Letat,cest moi wife,seems to be a little too far for the French,however. Theres a massive hue and cry in that country over the news that Carla Bruni-Sarkozy,who divides her time between being (a) Mrs President Sarkozy and (b) a chanteuse of apparently pitch-perfect mediocrity,is being allowed to have her worlds collide by the French governments decision to send out a copy of her latest CD as part of a gift pack designed to promote tourism to la belle France. About a million euros of taxpayer money are believed to have been spent on this.
There are many things about this that could irritate the average Frenchman-in-the-rue. Let us be charitable,and assume that he doesnt care about having an Italian-born woman considered representative of France. (If so,there are a few people in India that might need lessons.) Nevertheless,he might well object to having a universally-panned album considered representative of French music. But the sight of the French actually objecting to insider advantage is a joy that nations oligarchic structure has long been the marvel of Europe.
What is truly absurd,however,is what the CDs and gift packs were supposed to do. They contained wine-and-cheese vouchers and corkscrews with which recipients were encouraged to put up Gallic evenings. (Do you serve a voucher with Dijon mustard?) The soundtrack to this voucher-and-corkscrew soirée was apparently supposed to be the French first lady. Thats not likely to entice many people to the Land of Romance. The French,two years into Sarkos presidency,are thoroughly tired of his garish style and showmanship. They should think themselves lucky,however they could have been stuck,like the Italians,with Silvio Berlusconi,a man who thinks nothing of complimenting Barack Obama on his tan.