Leave it to Fox News, Rupert Murdoch’s ultra-conservative News Channel, to write a one-liner headline announcing the defeat of French President Sarkozy in the 2nd round of the Presidential elections May 6. “One and Done” is a sports term describing a team who wins their first round game (here Sarkozy’s first term) but loses in the second round (his second term). I probably preferred style over substance for when I heard the news that Francois Hollande, the socialist candidate, had won the elections a bit of sadness came over me. I had grown accustomed to the energetic, dynamic style of Nicolas Sarkozy who was not afraid to appear in a T-shirt marked NYPD (New York Police Department) while out jogging with his socialist minister of health (yes…he had opened up his cabinet to the opposing party attempting…maybe only cosmetically if you listen to the cynics…to reach across the aisle). As an American living in France, I’m going to miss his youthful unabashed personality and his lack of Cultural (with a capital ‘C’) decorum which probably rubbed a lot of French people the wrong way. Sarkozy was openly criticized for his habit of tarnishing the sanctity of the French presidency and saying aloud what a lot of people whispered amongst themselves. But… putting aside all of the politics of the day, maybe that’s what I liked and what most people here didn’t like (feels like a little bit of anti-Americanism?) … Hollande’s style will be more comfortable like a well-worn pair of shoes as he symbolizes the more traditional, institutional type of French politician having been to all the right schools (ENA = the elite school of administration) and passed all of the coveted exams which is like a rite of passage to enter many  exclusive jobs and university positions. Time will tell if he also appears in a t-shirt marked NYPD…or perhaps “Vote for Obama” as the American presidential elections are next.

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