…Both Blair and Sarkozy are lawyers. Both are precocious and imbued with an unwavering self-belief. Sarkozy, however, is French, which means that he is burdened with a sense of history that would be unimaginable to Blair. Despite the voluntarism of his campaign, Sarkozy has learned, through a painful confrontation with reality, that both he and his politics are circumscribed by the landmark moments in his nation’s past (the Revolution, The Occupation, May ’68). As any right wing politician would have told him, it was vain of him to hope that by the sheer force of his will and his rhetoric, he could drag France away from the founding myths that still define her and make her (emotionally at least) left-wing.
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