Nicolas Sarkozy appears to be running France in much the same way that I write this blog. One tries constantly to imagine new themes, to tell new stories. Apparently, Sarko's communications specialists have convinced him that this is a good approach for a president of France who needs to convince the people that he's perpetually active, and doing something new. When I was a child, adults used to tell us: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. For Sarko, it's a story a day. Every 24 hours, with the help of his advisors, he invents a new tale to tell.
His latest theme is the history of slavery, as far as it affected France and her overseas territories. The president has decided spontaneously that this subject must be included in school curricula, and that the abolition of slavery will be commemorated annually, henceforth, on May 23.
French people recall the publicity of a celebrated department store in Paris: "A tout instant, il se passe quelque chose aux Galeries Lafayette." (At every moment, something happens at the Galeries Lafayette.) Nicolas Sarkozy behaves in the same spirit. But it's not at all certain that this behavior has made him popular. Nor is it certain that the challenges of France can be tackled ideally in this style.