Belonging to the Old School, one of whose tenets is 'Never trust anyone wearing a suit', I was struck a couple of years back by how saturnine and excessively formalistic most world leaders --- and minor leaders, since it was the occasion when some awful little fellow who was governor of South Carolina went AWOL for a week to visit his mistress --- are nowadays. Messers Yeltsin and Kohl undoubtedly had faults, yet they managed a possibly spurious attitude of bonhomie and benevolence like a couple of drunk Cheeryble brothers: these sinister scoundrels combine devout self-belief with the amiablity of minor inquisitors' assistants. Recent world gatherings indicated they were issued with the same dark suits and blue ties by some cruel demob depot seeking to save costs.
One of their key mantras is economic reform, which is code for making the poor poorer; the shifty Mr. Sarkozy doesn't seem to have obsessed about this so much as Anglos do, concentrating more on domestic reforms which are probably silly yet less harmful. Nor, with his increase in presidential spending to 10,000 euros a day on food and 121 cars to ride in unsimultaneously, would he impress as an avid cost-cutter. Still, he could not help claiming recently that He Had Saved France, joing the long list of men who claimed to have Saved France, from Robespierre to Mirabeau to Napoleon to Thiers to Clemenceau to Petain to De Gaulle et al. None of them really did. One of his 'reforms' was steering the Three Strikes law against file-sharing, which is fairly doomed anyway as any fight against technology, not withstanding his palace was found to have indulged itself --- and merciful heaven, they chose to download a Ben Stiller 'comedy'...
However, he perhaps has some sympathy with the downtrodden, certainly his charming and very friendly wife appreciates what it is to be poor as can be seen in her excellent singing here:
Another song for luck
and some discussion crap merely to admire her cheekbones.
And for traditionalists, Ottalie Patterson's classic rendition [ yes, it shows Bessie Smith, and no it isn't her ].
Expensive To Maintain
Interestingly, one commentator from India had this to say on Sarkozy's luxury:
There is no end of such news. Many Americans keep pet penguins that are very expensive to maintain. Some Americans send all dresses and even lingerie by courier to Paris laundry and get back by courier. …