President...Sarkozy..... President Sarkozy. After the first few times, it rolls off the tounge. And now it can be said. Sunday night is a blur of events. The results were known by officials an hour and a half or so before the 8:00 p.m. announcement but French law prohibits the media from revealing anything ahead of schedule. However, that law doesn't apply to other countries. How they got the results ahead of time I'm not sure, but Belgian and Swiss websites were already leaking the numbers with Sarkozy's clear lead beffore 8:00.
We watched TF1 from our apartment as the countdown started... 15 minutes left....one minute... 5 seconds.... boom. Sarkozy's face appeared on the screen with 53% flashing across the bottom. People cheered. People cried. My husband yelled at the tv screen, "Make France a champion!"
Sarko made his acceptance speech and went down the Champs-Elysées to Place de la Concorde where staff, celebrities and thousands of supporters waited to cheer him. People sang and climbed lamp posts and danced in the fountain.
Then there's the other 47% who weren't so happy. If you can call huge protests, hundreds of arrests and an estimated 730 torched cars unhappy.Some may call this an understatement. Peaceful and less than peaceful protests continued into Monday night.
News reports here say the U.S. president was one of the first to call and congratulate Nicolas. Here's what Tony Blair had to say: