"The American people have just chosen you to preside over their destiny for the next four years.
Please accept my warmest congratulations, both personally and on behalf of the French people as a whole."
Nicolas Sarkozy wrote a letter of congratulations to the new president of the USA, Barack Obama, soon after the announcement of the official results.
He spoke on behalf of the "French people as a whole" : but, what about me ? What about all the other French people who are not Obamaniacs, and who did not support Obama ? Although we are a minority, I think Sarkozy should not have mentioned the French people "as a whole" !
The letter continues :
"Your stunning victory rewards a tireless commitment to serving the American people."
So, Sarkozy mentioned a "tireless commitment"
What was he alluding to ?
Does he know that this tireless commitment has lasted less than four years (Obama was elected senator in 2004) ?
And Sarkozy went on :
" It is also the crowning achievement of an exceptional campaign whose brilliance and high tone demonstrated the vitality of American democracy to the entire world, while keeping them spellbound."
"Brilliance and high tone ?"
Well, I'm not so sure... Think about the level of attacks during the primaries between Hillary and Obama : I am not sure these two words correctly describe what happened. But never mind, Sarkozy continued :
"In choosing you, the American people have chosen the path of change, openness and optimism. At a time when the world is in torment and doubt, the American people, true to the values that have always been at the very core of America’s identity, strongly expressed their faith in progress and in the future."
So, with Barack Obama, are we supposed to believe in "Ensemble, tout devient possible" or "Together, everything becomes possible", which was Sarkozy's slogan during the French presidential campaign, and which looks like "Yes, we can", doesn't it ?
The problem is that more than 20 million people have already had this dream. And now, they are realizing that reality is very different from the promises made, and it has a bitter taste...
But, never mind, as long as this "election raises immense hope in France, Europe and beyond: the hope of an open America, characterized by solidarity and strength, that will once again lead the way, with its partners, through the power of its example and the adherence to its principles.
France and Europe, which have always been bound to the United States through their ties of history, values and friendship, will thus be reenergized to work with America to preserve peace and prosperity in the world. "
And Sarkozy concludes : "Rest assured that you may count on France and on my personal support."
"my personal support" ? If I were Obama, I would take these words cautiously, because Sarkozy hates not to be THE star, and if Obama comes to the meeting of the 20 world leaders (G20 summit) on the 15th of November, Sarkozy's ego is going to suffer, for he might well not be the one who catches the media's attention... And he could resent it...
Besides our French president, all the world heads of states and governments sent Obama letters of congratulation.
Gordon Brown said : "Barack Obama ran an inspirational campaign, energising politics with his progressive values and his vision for the future. I know Barack Obama and we share many values. We both have determination to show that government can act to help people fairly through these difficult times facing the global economy."
I think Gordon Brown was a little ironical when he alluded to the difficulties of the world's economy, for he perfectly knows that Obama has nothing to propose to solve the crisis...
José Luis Zapatero The Spanish government head congratulated Obama on his victory in Tuesday's vote and pointed out the "impact" it had had in Spain.
Angela Merkel woke up in the middle of the night, just to learn the piece of news, and very briefly called Obama's victory "historical", and then... went back to bed... For sure, Angela is no Obamaniac...
But we will award a special prize to Silvio Berlusconi : first, he reminded everybody that people were wrong to present Obama like a "Messiah", and then he made the following remark, which has provoked indignation since then :
Obama is 'giovane, bello e abbronzato' , which can be translated into : 'young, handsome and tanned'.
His remarks sparked outrage, with opposition leader Walter Veltroni saying his rival had 'seriously hurt Italy's image and dignity' and calling for an official apology to Mr Obama.
Even our French First Lady, Carla Bruni Sarkozy, who is of Italian origin, expressed her outrage :
‘‘I’m very glad to have become French,’’ she said.
But what she failed to understand is that for Berlusconi, who is often impolitic and "suntanned" himself, the remark was not a racist joke : it was a compliment !
Carla made it clear that Obama’s election was ‘‘an immense joy.’’ And as usual, she seized the opportunity to praise her husband, as usual, surfing on the wave of Obamania :
‘‘My husband is not Obama. But the French voted for the son of a Hungarian immigrant, whose father has an accent, whose mother is of Jewish origin. (Sarkozy) has always considered himself as a bit of a Frenchman from elsewhere,’’ Bruni-Sarkozy is quoted as saying.
So for Carla, Obama could be an example for France ? And Sarkozy’s ethnically mixed background is a sign that France is open to change ?
This is really a far-fetched comparison, isn't it ?
Elsewhere in the world, we can quote an interesting reaction from Islamabad : Pakistanis are not so happy to see Obama in the White House, as they probably remember something that everybody seems to have forgotten but which, I, personally, find worrying : Obama had said he was ready to strike Pakistan if necessary ! Yes, this is what he said : the same Obama who said he voted against the war in Iraq whereas he was not in the Senate !
In the Arabic world, I think the most striking reaction is probably that of Hamas, although it is not surprising. Hamas is satisfied, so what are we supposed to think ? Obama is elected and a terrorist group calls it "historic for the world" and celebrates...
Of course, in Africa, that was elation!
In Kenya, in particular : the government of Kenya has declared the sixth of November a public holiday.
So if Obama does nothing else for them in the future, at least Kenyans can thank him for being granted a new bank holiday !
It is better than nothing !
"The Axis of Evil" represented by Ahmadinejad also had an unexpected reaction :
we would never have expected an Iranian leader to congratulate a new-elect American president. Well, we have been wrong.
In Obama's world, everything is possible, and the Iranian president had these kind words :
Tehran "welcomes basic and fair changes in U.S. policies and conducts."
"I hope you will prefer real public interests and justice to the never-ending demands of a selfish minority and seize the opportunity to serve people so that you will be remembered with high esteem".
Quite incredible, isn't it ?
But Ahmadinejad probably remembers that Obama had declared himself ready to talk with him without any condition, during the primary campaign, and he had been criticized for that. Let's now see if Obama is going to keep his promise..
In Sudan, the government hopes that the relationships with the USA will come back to "normal". But if this happens, that could be at the expense of Darfur's interests, so Mister Obama had better not forget that Darfur probably helped him win the votes of Hollywood.
But the last to speak will be Moamer Kadhafi.
The Libyan leader showed a great deal of cynicism on Thursday, but his words were quite realistic...
First, he hailed Barack Obama's election as US president, calling it a victory for former slaves who are "now becoming masters." "This can be considered the beginning of the victory of blacks in America, who were slaves but are now becoming masters," Kadhafi said during a visit to Ukraine.
But, according to AFP, he voiced fears that Obama might be assassinated, as were presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy and civil rights leader Martin Luther King. "The people who physically eliminated Abraham Lincoln because he freed the slaves, who assassinated King and Kennedy, they can still be found in the United States. That is why I fear for his safety," Kadhafi stated.
That will be our conclusion...