Sarkozy for President
Of France, that is
By blackhedd Posted in Breaking News — Comments (14) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Read this story about the official nomination of Nicolas Sarkozy (currently France's Interior Minister) as the UMP (center-right) candidate for President. The elections will be held in two rounds, on April 22 and May 6 of this year.
Sarkozy is now 51 years old. His father emigrated to France from Hungary and his mother is French. He's a lawyer, which together with his youth distinguishes him sharply from France's ruling class, who generally have degrees in government, from Sciences-Po or the Ecole Nationale.
He is seen as intellectually sympathetic to both Britain (specifically with Tony Blair) and with the US. Most significantly, he is seen as a "hard-liner" on immigration. As Interior Minister, he has pushed policies that seek to curb illegal immigration, but also to improve the prospects for employment of skilled youth, including Muslim youth.
There are warts, of course. He has been against our mission in Iraq (naturally), and as Finance Minister has shown protectionist instincts. Here's a profile on him from the BBC.
The competition on the Left is from Segolene Royal, the Socialist Party nominee. She's 52. Obviously she's going to be spotted a few points due to her gender advantage. Also be on the lookout for our MSM to give her the full Hillary Clinton-style royalty-in-waiting treatment. Despite her fresh face and dynamic style, she's still a doctrinaire Lefty. Think Obama in high heels. Even better, think of Chile's new President, Michelle Bachelet.
It hasn't gotten much press, but France has been reducing marginal income tax rates recently. (Here's a general story on tax reform in Western Europe.) They are now down to about 50%, with a further drop to 40% expected early this year. Needless to say, economic indicators have turned up right on cue.
The race for President in France bears watching as a new generation of leadership comes to the fore. France will always be France (adduce your favorite snarks as you see fit). But the larger story is whether the recent trend toward the Left in national politics around the globe (Angela Merkel notwithstanding) will continue.