Carla Bruni, the worm in Sarkozy's mouldy apple?
Since Nicolas Sarkozy failed to win the first round of the presidential election, Carla Bruni changed her Facebook relationship status from “In a relationship” to “It’s complicated”. She also signed up to an internet dating site. And she’s selling her ballet flats on EBay, in exchange for high-heeled wedge platforms. At least that’s what the Twitterati like to pretend.
If any of this were true, incumbent Sarkozy would have all the more reason to be bitter. According to the French press, Carla could have been the edge that won him those last undecided votes. Instead, her raunchy past, Botox-heavy looks and rare appearances on the campaign trail may have pushed voters that little bit further away from Sarkozy, until they found themselves backing into the arms of François Hollande and his normal girlfriend, journalist Valérie Trierweiler. She was described in March as “Hollande’s lucky charm”. Is Bruni Sarkozy’s losing factor?
Sarkozy and Bruni as depicted by the satirical puppet show, Les Guignols.
Like a Facebook friend that you hate but whose profile you can’t help looking at, the French showed a reluctant interest in Bruni to begin with. And they did not like what they saw. She was too pretty (this is before she OD-ed on plastic surgery) and too spaced out/airy-fairy to be the president’s wife. Besides, women found her politically fickle. After insisting that she was an incorrigible leftie who would not be won over by her conservative president boyfriend’s ideals, she suddenly realised that she had been a repressed right-winger all along!
Men, meanwhile, didn’t trust her for her fickle behaviour with their fellow kind. Before meeting Sarkozy, she ditched her harem of rock-star boyfriends for middle-aged publisher Jean-Paul Enthoven (pictured right). Then she fell pregnant.
With his son’s baby (left). Yep. It’s the kind of thing you expect from a guest on the Jerry Springer Show, not the First Lady of France.
After shying away from the media to give birth to her baby (Sarkozy’s too, one would hope) Bruni’s sporadic appearances on her husband’s campaign trail were considered too few and too far between by some. French daily Le Monde pointed out that while she was happy to observe speeches from the safety of a VIP stall, she was less comfortable joining the incumbent on his back-slapping visits to betting shops and tobacconists in the miserable peripheries of unknown towns, making his “president of the people” pretence seem like a joke even for his wife.
But her absence at such events was probably a safe bet. She represents Sarkozian extravagance, along with Rolexes, yachting holidays and castle parties. There is also the threat that if Bruni attends events where microphones are present (i.e.: all of them), then she might say something. The last time she tried to help Sarkozy with his image, she told reporters: “We are modest French people.” Oh dear. She even tried to prove her point by listing the trashy TV shows they like watching. “Erm, 'Farmer Wants a Wife' [reality TV nonsense]… 'Plus Belle La Vie'… [cheap soap]…”
Clearly trying to get “normal” people on her husband’s side, she managed instead to paint a ludicrous picture of President Sarkozy watching trash TV.
So, perhaps she’s doing Sarkozy a service by lying low during the campaign. Besides, the competition is pretty tough. Hollande’s girlfriend Valérie Trierweiler is a successful career woman, a feisty journalist and a women’s rights activist. She’s also French, not Italian. And to top it off, her face is 100% natural.