French bread and circuses

If President Sarkozy’s sharp drop in popularity is anything to go by, then the land of l’exception culturelle may well be getting aberrantly fed up with circuses. Indeed amid complaints that Sarkozy has been fiddling while France’s living standards supposedly sizzle, many French people have been vociferously venting their Baudelairian spleen on their head of state for ostentatiously publicizing his whirlwind romance with Italian-born, ex-model-turned-singer Carla Bruni. However, now that news has come that Mr. Sarkozy tied the knot for the third time in an uncharacteristically private ceremony at the Elysee Palace last Saturday and has consequently returned the nation to humdrum protocol normalcy, the populace may finally be expected to cut the gripe and graciously give the French president his second political honeymoon since his election last spring as some kind of collective wedding gift.

Fat chance! As local elections loom next month, power-hungry lefties and their economically illiterate fellow travelers are salivating at the prospect of demanding their pound of electoral bread from those at the top. Cynics say France’s socialist-leaning First Lady might be tempted to parody Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI’s Austrian-born Queen consort, during the campaign and dismissively tell France’s latter-day sans-culottes to go and eat cake. Now that would send her presidential husband to the electoral guillotine and she would show herself for what she might well still be after all, a femme fatale.

Note: “Paoli” is the pen name, er, nom de plume, of our French correspondent. Monsieur is a close student of European and US politics, a onetime exchange student in Colorado and a well-wisher to us Americans. He informs us the original Pasquale Paoli, 1725-1807, was the George Washington of Corsica.