Friday, January 13, 2006

C'est la vie politique

In France, politics resembles soap opera:

THE race for the French presidency took a dramatic turn yesterday when the man most likely to succeed Jacques Chirac, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, publicly reunited with his straying wife.

Mr Sarkozy's success in "reconquering" Cecilia Sarkozy, 48, his glamorous former political adviser who left her lover to return to the marital home, will boost his electoral chances in a macho country that prefers its presidents to have a devoted first lady in tow.

The surprise reunion between the Bill and Hillary Clinton of French politics was played out in view of TV cameras on the terrace of Paris's most popular political and media haunt, L'Esplanade, as the tempestuous couple shared a highly staged post-lunch coffee.

Meanwhile, the colourful details of the reconciliation were breathlessly recounted in the French press by a family friend.

MP Patrick Balkany outlined how the Interior Minister met his errant wife in a limousine on the tarmac of Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport - while her lover remained on board.

Either soap opera, or a famous episode of the Bob Newhart Show.

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