Sunday, November 04, 2007

Little big man

I don't know very much about Nicholas Sarkozy or his policies. I know very little about French politics in fact but I have a hard time picturing George Bush or indeed any American president I know of doing the sort of things Sarkozy does.

He's not a tall man; not as tall as George the Decider and doesn't swagger across flight decks in too tight flight suits and doesn't seem to have a perpetual, condescending smirk on his face, but he's a man who once ended a hostage situation in 1993 when he was the mayor of a Paris suburb, by entering a building alone and unarmed to negotiate the release of a nursery school class, after which the police entered and shot the man with the bomb. There is something about the man who firmly and politely ended the 60 Minutes interview and walked away from the flabbergasted Leslie Stahl with dignity unstained, that makes him appear quite a bit taller in my eyes even without the high heeled cowboy boots. George dodging questions looks in comparison, like a petulant and spoiled little boy.

Just a little while ago, Sarkozy left Chad with three French journalists and four Spanish flight crew who had been held in that country along with a number of others on charges of kidnapping. Sarkozy flew there himself to talk directly withChad's president Idriss Deby about releasing them and that's just what happened. He did it himself. No dispatching of an ineffective cabinet secretary, no nuclear threats, no sanctions, no preliminary low-level conferences, no nonsense no accusations, no blame seeking.

Do we still make leaders like that? Do we have a candidate less interested in fund raising, power brokering, campaigning and finding jobs for political hacks he owes money to and more interested in leading by example?


expatbrian said...

The answer to your last question is no. We do not have any candidates like that. The US system no longer allows integrity, honor, conscience or courage to be valued and more importantly, voted for. And there are so many things that would have to change in order to bring political value to those characteristics that I fear it will never happen.
Besides, you know as well as I do that corporate America will never allow it to happen. Last time there was an attempt, the President got his head blown off.

Capt. Fogg said...

I agree - but the art of slime has progressed to the point where such bloody things seem old fashioned. If a real leader ever appeared, they'd hang him from his own halo long before he became a challenge.