Sarkozy writes new book
PARIS, July 23 — Nicolas Sarkozy, who is No. 2 in the French government, has become its No. 1 critic in a new best seller in which he promises to break with “the way we have been doing politics for years.”I wouldn't be surprised. That's exactly why quite a few moonbats are doing what they can to downplay him and villify him. In fact, has anyone noticed that when it comes to the subject of Lebanon, only crooks like De Villepin and Chirac are shown speaking? The Makor Rishon weekly did, and it's apparent that, if Sarkozy's got something good to say in Israel's favor, the moonbats don't want him to be heard. No doubt because they hated his defense for Alain Finkielkraut a couple months ago.
The 281-page book “Testimony,” with an initial press run of 130,000 copies, has become an instant success, selling out in several stores in France within days of its publication last week. The publisher, XO Editions, has printed 100,000 more volumes, a spokeswoman said.
Mr. Sarkozy, France’s outspoken interior minister, is the leading presidential candidate of the governing center-right party. But rather than listing the administration’s achievements, he mainly lists its failures.
He demands a radical overhaul of France’s social welfare model, which President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin have staunchly defended, and he sharply criticizes them, saying they waited too long to scrap an unpopular change in labor law in the spring.
Contradicting the line from Élysée Palace, he also renews calls for affirmative action, a taboo in the republican conception of equality.
Being different and novel has always been Mr. Sarkozy’s main selling point, but in recent months it has become much more.
With approval ratings for Mr. Chirac and Mr. de Villepin among the lowest ever in the Fifth Republic, dissociating himself from the government may have become a matter of political life or death for Mr. Sarkozy, who is now widely described as the sole Gaullist candidate for president in 2007.
“His biggest risk today is to be seen as the incumbent of this government,” said Brice Teinturier, director of political research at the TNS Sofres polling institute.
Long neck and neck in the polls with Ségolène Royal, the leading Socialist contender, Mr. Sarkozy edged ahead of her in the latest TNS Sofres survey, which was published Wednesday in Le Figaro.
In his book he attacks the First Employment Contract, or C.P.E., a youth employment plan masterminded by Mr. de Villepin and supported by Mr. Chirac before street protests forced them to scrap it in April.
“I was convinced that the C.P.E. would be seen as unfair for the simple reason that it was,” he writes, calling the change in labor law “minor” and “useless.”
He criticizes France’s social model, writing, “The best social model is that which gives a job to everyone and so it’s no longer ours, because we have twice as many unemployed people as our main partners.”
The book has prompted accusations of opportunism among rivals on the left and the right.
But Christian Estrosi, minister for regional development and a close ally of Mr. Sarkozy, said the book was popular precisely because the author was seen as a “new politician,” separate from the government.
“Political books don’t sell very well,” Mr. Estrosi said. “It’s the phenomenon Nicolas Sarkozy that sells well.”
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