Viva la difference! European politicians are somewhat different that American politicians. Above Sarkozy and the notorious Italian Burlusconi share a laugh. What is acceptable for European politicians is somewhat different because of a greater degree of protection of politicians' private lives, due the Napoleonic Code created in 1804. In France Article 9 was also created in 1970 to protect privacy. There are also very different ways of being elected. While the US spotlights a candidate, often coming out of nowhere, in Europe and especially France, party campaigns are used. Posters, ads and campaigns promote the party first then the candidate may be named on party promotions in designated areas.
Parties used to be a way of reaching voters to explain and represent issues. More and more voters are becoming informed and issue based. Below a European Union site allows people to answer a quiz and discover where they fall on party lines. Take the quiz here.
Above and below mediatization of culture means the politicians must do well with traditional media like television and new media like Facebook below.
Below, Sarkozy's son Jean rose to instant political success, which some claim was a combination of nepotism and his media friendly good looks.
Above Sarkozy has been in the media spotlight for his personal life, mainly concerning his 3 marriages. Most recently in 2010 the Bettencourt scandal concerned the L'Oreal heiress' donations to Sarkozy before he was elected.
There are a number of French political journals that follow scandals and political issues, including Le Point below.