The deal to set the mark for all First Lady transfers was that of Jackie Kennedy, the tragic widow, to Jackie O, purchaser of 200 pairs of shoes at a shot. From then on no used First Lady has counted for as much in cash terms.
In France they don’t measure their First Ladies for any future outside that of being an arm ornament for a male President. But in recent years a disturbing trend has taken over: the brides of Presidents are career women bent on their own rise. As a hint of the forthcoming nightmare, the uk experienced Cheryl, ‘Cheri’ to her pals, Blair whose consultations with astrologers enabled Tony to get out at the right moment and dump Gordon into the oncoming mess.
Women have often been manipulators of their male counterpart’s success. Today, such women use their connections to politically powerful males as a career move. One perfect example is Carla Bruni, a manipulator par excellence whose career at the time she met Sarkozy, desperately needed a lift. Having lost her footing on the New York catwalks and failed to find a new sponsor among the rock musicians and property tycoons of Manhattan, she turned to singing sour songs about past failed loves. By now a pariah among the arts aristocracy of Paris and the subject of a devastatingly catty Roman à Clé, she went in for drastic facial reconstruction and wangled a marriage deal with the new President. Her confession that she knows nothing about politics has not stopped her from urging Sarkozy to make a come back--because she desperately wants another career push. It wont happen: the market for second hand French Presidents is also sluggish. Even Sarko’s own party don’t want him back as leader. Enough is enough and especially enough of the pushy wife who lost him the election by her appalling publicity gaffes.
Sarko’s previous wife, Cecilia, was shunted off to New York with the journalist for whom she had left Sarko before his election. She had returned to be at his side for the victory but was chatting to someone else on the platform while he made his victory speech. The ‘rupture’ which had happened years before, was soon celebrated with a number of magazine covers with Cecilia beautifully photographed in designer clothes, before her new husband was found a job in New York to keep the pair out of French gossip mags. Cecilia returned during 2013 to publish her memoir of their life together (which she had agreed to keep quiet until he lost the election). She appeared on numerous TV shows but always said the same thing: Sarko was difficult to live with. Really?
Now we have had the Rottweiler, another career woman, but one who at least knows something about politics: she was not there as ‘First Umbrella Carrier’ to the man I nicknamed President Noah, thanks to the coming Deluge as well as actual rainfall during his election and inauguration, to promote her own career. How could she live at the Elysée with the ‘Premier Homme’ and continue to work for Paris Match? She sacrificed her career and remains devoted to this dodo. Alas she couldn’t keep the lid on the cauldron of her jealousy for Ségolène Royal, Hollande’s previous concubine.
I have always loathed the term First Lady, so patronizing for unelected bedmates of elected leaders and which has no counterpart in the description of male partners of elected female leaders such as Thatcher or Merkel. Why should these helpmeets of the private life have any political or opinion forming ‘role’ to play? Even Jackie Kennedy never opened her mouth or sponsored a charity and I doubt if her husband needed her as anything more than a glam mother of his children while he played the field and made a mess of US Cuba relations.
A recent poll of the French public reveals that 54% don’t want a “First Lady” with a role. Their preferred Presidents’ wife from recent years is Bernadette Chirac who never did anything more likely to gain attention than have afternoon tea at Angelina’s, the rue de Rivoli Salon de Thé, fashionable with Bourgeoise wives.
Only 8 % of respondents to the same poll said they ‘liked’ Valerie Trierweiler as against 92% who did not. Which only goes to show that a lady should first of all have a ring on her finger and secondly never comment on or interfere in matters political or personal that are the province of her elected husband.Alas, it seems that Valerie, as manifested by her disgraceful treatment in the separation bulletin from the Elysée was no lady and not even the President’s wife. She was treated in the manner of a Mistress who despite being supplanted by a second Mistress (somewhat in the manner of Louis XIV’s replacement of the Marquise de Montespan by Madame de Maintenon) remained a ‘slut’ rather than a legitimately married woman. However, I suspect that while her chances of being picked up as a Trophy by some billionaire are slender, her presence at the side of the dumpy dunce who, for the moment, is still President of France, will be sorely missed by the man himself. The Rottweiler’s feisty character was an inestimable force that helped to drive this piece of fudge into the Presidency.
He needs to pay her off with a few million of his secret fund to guarantee her silence.