Sarkozy, Carla's little 'chou chou', joins Facebook
Facebook is ever evolving, now presidents are joining and Sarkozy 'chou chou' is showing the world another side of himself.
Paris – French President Nicolas Sarkozy has a new-look page on the networking website Facebook, and one of the latest videos posted shows him playfully chatting with guests and kissing his supermodel wife.
Shot this month during an informal interview between first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and competition winners from a women's magazine, the Internet footage shows Sarkozy dropping in apparently unannounced.
The president kisses his wife and then perches himself on the arm of an armchair occupied by a reader from Femme Actuelle (Today's Woman), before giving a brief account of his day and introducing the family dogs.
"I've just seen the prime minister of Iraq," he says.
"That's terrific," replies Bruni-Sarkozy, all the while gazing at him adoringly and stroking his hand. A beaming Sarkozy goes on to note that he has just jumped out of the shower after taking some exercise.
The group chat in a relaxed way for a few minutes -- as Sarkozy presents his dogs Clara and Dumbledore -- and then he heads off, with Carla calling after him: "Bon courage, chou chou" ("Be brave, honey dearest").
When Femme Actuelle released the video to accompany its interview it was seized on by the British press as a public relations disaster by the French leader; the tabloid Daily Mail branded it "hugely embarrassing".
In fact, the popular YouTube version of the video was one of the first links posted by Sarkozy's office on his new Facebook page, which the Elysee Palace confirmed to AFP is official and has been online since Monday.
With a profile picture of a tanned president grinning broadly with the top three buttons of his shirt undone, Sarkozy is listed under his own name rather than by title -- although he lists his occupation as: "Head of State".
The French leader has made previous attempts to reach out to supporters on the Internet, but the updated Facebook page shows him at his most relaxed.
As well as footage of the chat with 42-year-old model-turned-singer Carla, Dumbledore, Clara and the female guests, web surfers can find links to Sarkozy's recent speech on the crisis of France's timber industry.
Although the Facebook video is the first time that a French president -- traditionally haughty and a little distant -- has exposed his private world to such a degree, Sarkozy is not the only European leader to have a site.
Sarkozy has 96,153 supporters registered on Facebook, fewer than popular Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's 127,795 fans, but more than the 8,859 supporters who back Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown does not seem to have an official Facebook entry, but dozens of users have set up pages in his name, variously entitled: "Gordon Brown Out", "Sack Gordon Brown" and "Gordon Brown Sucks".
To view this video go to the facebook link.
AFP / Expatica