For months, if not years, people in France and abroad have been trying to prove that Marine Le Pen has not changed as much as she would have us believe. Now, in a mere 20 seconds, she herself has torn away the veil and shot herself in the foot.
As the National Front's ranks continue to swell, thanks in part to dissatisfaction with alternatives on the center-left or center-right, it remains to be seen how far Le Pen will go to placate her fringe constituency while trying to appear mainstream enough for disaffected moderates.
These are just a few examples. Dozens more could be cited. I offer them to those of my readers who, for lack of information, run the risk of falling into the trap set by the crudest political marketing operation France has seen in recent years.
Guess who's been stirring up controversy around the world lately? That's right! Madonna's done it again. But has the 53-year-old material girl crossed the line this time, spitting in the face (figuratively speaking) of political correctness? Just how far is too far?
As Europe's conservatives watch in dismay and even horror, the second big shoe is about to drop in French politics. Far-rightist Marine Le Pen appears set to emerge triumphant from the wreckage of France's defeated center-right.
As two countries in the EU, France and Greece, go to polls on Sunday, far-right or populist nationalist movements are on the rise on the continent even further, to the degree that they will soon seriously challenge the post-WWII order.
In general, the French President does not appear to be respected as a statesman. The French do not recognize Sarkozy's way of doing things as being familiar, as representing who they are, whether it be on the left or the right.
We don't need anymore confusion and anxiety in our already fragile society. It is time for this campaign to be over, to end an ugly chapter in which the party still in charge is ready to say, do, or protest whatever they want to win an election.
France is now at a crossroads: one road leads to economic and moral bankruptcy under François Hollande; the other leads to growth, jobs, competitiveness, greatness and the pride of being French. This is the France Nicolas Sarkozy is proposing.
A France that ends up less likely to resolve its fundamental competitiveness problems means a weaker country and a less stable Europe. That would be bad for Hollande, bad for France, bad for Europe, and bad for America.