Sarkozy must enter the Death Valley of attempted reform in France. The precedents from that gulch are terrifying.Thus writes John Vinocur in the International Herald Tribune.
A hedged interpretation marks it as something less than France's full commitment to big change. It argues that, in making the Gaullist a decisive winner over Ségolène Royal, the French merely asserted that the Socialist candidate's mix of vindictive language and fuzzy, confused commitment to greater social protection was scarier than Sarkozy's plan to shake French habit with the challenges of risk, accountability, and harder work.
In a massive irony - but hardly the start of a march down the sawdust path to modernization - an election that was meant to be won through the left's strategy of anything-but-Sarko may well have been decided by a stronger negative vote: aversion to Ségo's divisive and bitter incoherence.