There has been much media and internet speculation on the subject of whether incoming French President Nicolas Sarkozy could become France’s version of Ronald Reagan. But isn’t a comparison to Richard Nixon equally, if not more, valid…
- Domestically, just like Nixon, Sarkozy was clearly the law-and-order candidate.
- In foreign policy, the analogy is less perfect, but like the Richard Nixon of the Vietnam era, Sarkozy’s promise is to help his country, shaken by some foreign policy missteps and unsure of its place in the world, develop better relations with a superpower that no one expects to go away any time soon.
But even if Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel aren’t going to be updated versions of Reagan and Thatcher, the fact that French and German electorates have chosen the unabashed pro-American candidates a fact worth noting. The downside to the observation is the ray of hope it gives to Socialists in Europe and elsewhere — they might begin to experience more electoral success if they ever decide to drop their reflexive anti-Americanism!