Sarkozy won with 53 percent of the vote in Sunday's presidential runoff, according to preliminary results issued by the French Interior Ministry. Socialist Segolene Royal took 47 percent of the vote.And they did it with a voter turnout of 85%! Sarko's victory doesn't mean France will be with the USA 100% of the time - and that is fine. Sovereign nations can have differences - but I think we can count on France to have a new honesty about her motives more than we have seen under Chirac.
"The French people have called for change. I will carry out that change, because that's the mandate I have received from the French people."
Sarkozy added that he wanted to tell his "American friends that they can rely on our friendship ... France will always be next to them when they need us."
I have always enjoyed my times in Paris, France in general - and the interactions I have had with my French counterparts have always been excellent and enjoyable. The French people have always been a pleasure to be around - and truth be told - if you take away the language issue, I believe the Americans and French people have more in common than most any other nation. Perhaps that is why we have little snits with each other now and then - we are so much alike we drive each other nuts.
Anyone who has spent time in France, especially Paris, will see pro-American iconography and affection more than you will see anti-Americanism. As a matter of fact, you will see much more anti-Americanism in The Bay Area of CA, NYC, LA, Boston, and Seattle than you will ever see in Paris.
The problem we have had with France over the recent history has more to do with their self-appointed political elite and puffed up Leftist media than with the French people.
Proof of that is when they elect someone like Sarkozy for President who was smeared with Bush, USA, free markets, racism, and all the usual buckets of rot from the Left. Heck, they even threatened violence if the French didn't elect their Socialists poster child.
In the short term, I think France will be more helpful in Afghanistan, and less obstructionist internationally. Don't expect them to deploy a division to Iraq, but that is ok. The real battle for Sarkozy though will be domestic. Socialism and Chiracism has left the French with a huge dead hand of regulation and waste in their economy. The fact they do not have more than a chronic 9% unemployment rate is a testimony to the potential there. He will be attacked every step of the way though by those who are addicted to the French gov'munt's handouts. Will be good to watch. As ExtremeCentre shows, the French are nice to watch.
And I like what many of his younger voters had to say.
Mr Sarkozy's campaign motto, "Earn more to work more", resonated with many younger voters too.Remember though, France will still be France. But this time we should think that when they say "non," perhaps there is more of a reason for doing so besides petty politics or money.
"This election is going to mean the end of idleness and the beginning of growth," says Breece Suber, 20, who was wearing a 1789-style revolutionary hat.
Mr Suber - who has dual US and French citizenship - says he wants "France to become more like the US, where growth is strong because people work".
Thibault Lacaste, a 25-year-old musician, praised Mr Sarkozy for promoting meritocracy.
Meanwhile Hamed Berete, a 38-ear-old lorry driver with roots in West Africa, was brandishing a tricolour.
Mr Berete said he approved of all of Mr Sarkozy's policies, including curbs on immigration:
"France should have a right to decide who comes in," he said. "Those who want to work are welcome but those who don't want to work are not."
Wish I could say the same about the Democrats running Congress.