Sarkozy may not be the easiest person to get along with. He's been called impulsive and authoritarian. His political opponents claim he could exacerbate government relations with the poor and France's many ethnic groups. But it will be his policies, not his personality - and whether those policies are embraced by a majority of French people - that will determine his success. If personality were the determining factor in the success of a leader, Margaret Thatcher would have been a failure, as would countless American presidents, military leaders and CEOs.
Sarkozy's work isn't finished. While he is expected to take office next week, Sarkozy must also campaign for his party's victory in next month's parliamentary election. He will need a clear majority of seats in order to implement his reform plan.
Socialism has had a firm grip on France since 1981 with Francois Mitterand's victory in that year's presidential election. With the defeat of Socialist candidate Segolene Royal, the Conservatives have a unique opportunity to show France and the world that they can not only solve their economic problems, but also do something about the immigration invasion that has put their nation - and all of Europe - in jeopardy. American conservatives (though probably not President Bush, who is not highly regarded in France) should cultivate this rare opportunity to help a once-strong ally to become one once again.
Vive la (conservative) France!