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Nikolas Sarkozy Discovers The Downside Of Marrying A Supermodel

Is there possibly a downside to marrying a 40-year-old multimillionaire supermodel who is most comfortable with no clothes on? For France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy—who married Carla Bruni in a low-key ceremony in Paris on Saturday—the answer might be “yes.” A comfortable majority elected him only nine months ago, but Sarkozy has slipped to a 41 percent approval rating, down 13 points on the previous month. There are political explanations for Sarko’s plummeting popularity: the French economy only grew two percent last year, his tax cuts are deeply unpopular in the traditionally leftist country, and the cost of living is rising. This is toxic for a man who ran on a promise to boost the economy. But ask anyone in the street and it’s not the GDP that they’re talking about—it’s the new Mrs Sarkozy.

The French have always tolerated their politicians’ private foibles. Chirac and Mitterrand had strings of mistresses without causing Clintonian levels of public outrage. French leaders can shag whom they desire if they are discreet, and the French media is happy to be comply with their discretion. Long-suffering French voters have been noticeably less impressed this time around, however, as the public soap opera has unfolded in the world media. Sarkozy has been acting like a pop star instead of doing his job, according to many voters, and anyone who has ever listened to French pop music will understand what a grave insult that is. More to the point, many French citizens feel that supermodel Bruni is too showbiz and too "cheap" (despite her fortune) to make a fitting consort for the President of the Republic. We are talking about a woman who has slept with Mick Jagger, Kevin Costner and Donald Trump. Imagine George W. Bush running off with Cher and you begin to get the idea.

Mind you, Bush would love a 41 percent approval rating.

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