The Italian Job

Nicholas Sarkozy's political inspiration comes from Italy: First, it was Berlusconi's flashy PR. Now it's the virulent nationalism of Umberto Bossi.

The first incarnation of French President Nicholas Sarkozy was that of a polished Parisian Silvio Berlusconi. The stint was evident in Sarkozy’s excessive public performances, like his Egyptian vacation in December 2008, when he wore sunglasses that would have been better placed at the front lines in Afghanistan. To celebrate his electoral victory on the night of May 6th 2007, he chose the famed restaurant “Fouquet” as the perfect venue to invite top personalities of the hexagon – even Jean Reno, Bernard Arnault, and cycling hero Richard Virenque.

Sarkozy also married model Carla Bruni Tedeschi a mere nine weeks after first meeting her. The wonderful Italian, formerly linked to Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, and a small group of intellectuals, brought Sarkozy’s personal life to the headlines. Luckily, she also cleaned up the French president’s personal image which had previously included a pathological passion for high-heeled shoes – needless to say, also a Berlusconian idea. The German weekly “Der Spiegel” came to the conclusion that “President Nicolas Sarkozy has benefited more than almost any other politician from the media’s growing obsession with celebrity. France’s ‘téléprésident’ orchestrates politics like a reality show.”

Silvio’s destiny in Italy is decaying