Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Ok, Sarko has disappointed many. But it would be dangerous to underestimate him. Here is a recent piece from the Economist Blogs:

14:07 GMT +00:00
February 20th
Sarkozy, Obama and McCain
Posted by: The Economist | PARIS
From our Paris Bureau Chief

AS Barack Obama widens his lead over Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination, it is worth recalling a trip that Nicolas Sarkozy made to Washington DC in September 2006. That visit is remembered in France mostly for the photograph that Sarkozy managed to arrange of himself with George Bush at the White House. He was then the French interior minister, and not even officially a presidential candidate, so for him it was a real coup. For the French back at home, however, it was baffling: why did Sarkozy want to cosy up to a leader widely reviled in France?

What is less well-known about the trip is who else he met. I've just looked up the official programme that I brought back, as one of the journalists accompanying him on that visit, to make sure my memory isn't playing tricks. Besides other members of the Bush administration, while in Washington Sarkozy met only two other American politicians: astonishingly, they were Barack Obama and John McCain.

According to my hastily scribbled notes from the time, after Sarkozy met the American senator in his office on Capitol Hill, Obama stood in front of us and said: "I shouldn't be predicting French elections, but I've been following the minister's career, and I know that he has a good opportunity to lead France in the future."

In Paris-Match magazine recently, Obama recalled that visit, and promised to return the favour if he won the nomination. It looks as though both had impressive foresight, or at the very least were well advised. That Sarkozy picked two men, neither of whom at the time were front-runners as presidential candidates, is pretty remarkable. I suspect that it reflects the advice of Jean-David Levitte, French ambassador to Washington at the time and in charge of Sarkozy's schedule for that trip; he is now Sarkozy's diplomatic adviser at the Elysée in Paris.


In fact, I believe that this is one of the inherent dangers of the current Sarko malaise: that other governments (in particular Frau Merkel's) will no longer take him (as) seriously (as they should).

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.

by LazyEnterprise (lazyenterprise@gmail.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2008 at 05:23:48 AM EST
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