Nicolas Sarkozy’s return: Je reviens

THE Sarko show is back, and half of France is mesmerised, the other half dismayed. More than 8m viewers, almost twice the usual evening television-news audience, tuned in on September 21st to watch Nicolas Sarkozy, the former centre-right president, explain why he was making a return to politics. A poll by Odoxa for Le Parisien, a daily, then suggested that 54% of the French do not want him back.Mr Sarkozy made a studied effort in his interview to appear wiser and calmer: a mature elder statesman who has travelled widely since his defeat in 2012 at the hands of François Hollande, a Socialist, and who has no choice, faced with the “humiliating spectacle” of France today, but to come back to serve his political family and his country. “With all the experience that I have accumulated,” he declared, “am I able to say ‘France is sinking, I’ll stay at home?’” But it was still vintage alpha-male Sarko, as he is familiarly known: vigorous and combative, bordering on finger-wagging aggressive.The French are bracing themselves for a political whirlwind, as Mr Sarkozy campaigns for the leadership of his UMP party, due to be chosen by a vote of members…

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