02 October, 2020

We Are All Socialists

Hollande rode to power on a rejection of aggressive Sarkozyism

We Are All Socialists

France woke up on May 7 to greet a new president. On his way out was Nicolas Sarkozy, the flamboyant president who had dreamt of putting an end to the “exception francaise” (the unique French way of looking at and doing things), something he had considered archaic. Enter Francois Hollande, the Socialist Party’s candidate, who owes his victory more to a rebuff of Sarkozy’s style of politics rather than to any adherence to his agenda. France didn’t turn socialist overnight. She just wants to be led differently. She aspires to find as head of state someone more classic, venerated and conciliatory, someone less disorganised and overzealous.

Sarkozy had generated keen interest abroad. Young, dynamic, married to a glamorous former model (Carla Bruni) and hyperactive on the international scene (Europe, Libya...), he had given France a new prominent profile on the global stage. But back home his image was much more controversial. After the initial adulation following his election in 2007, Sarkozy alienated a large...



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