Tag Archive: Nicolas Sarkozy

Quick name the chief executive who was asked to serve as the opening speaker at the ultra-exclusive Davos/Klosters (World Economic Forum) powerfest last week?

And while you’re at it, ask yourself who has more to say about an entire continent’s economy, common currency and way of life than any other chief executive?

Could this be the same chief executive that oversees the fifth most powerful economy in the world with a 5.5 percent unemployment rate (the lowest jobless rate for this particular nation in two decades) and a Standard & Poors AAA bond rating (certainly nothing to be sneezed at in this economy…Gesundheit)?

The answer to this question ist Deutschland’s Kanzlerin Angela Merkel. This brings to mind the next question: Is this “skirt” the most influential chief executive in the developed world (didn’t say the most powerful) eclipsing all of those that compete in blue “suits,” white shirts and power ties? One could certainly make this argument, maybe for the first time since the Earth cooled.


This week’s Economist and many other internationally oriented publications have focused even greater attention with each succeeding week on Chancellor Merkel. This week, the Economist proclaimed in a headline, “Merkel at the Top.” She may have to humbly concur with that conclusion as she was delivering the Davos keynote at a snowy Swiss mountain resort.

By entering into this discussion, I am not neglecting the obvious competing influence on this side of the Atlantic. There is no doubt that Mark Zuckerberg and his 800 million subscribers (third largest “country” in the world) deserves his due recognition…Does he ever wear a suit? Today, Zuckerberg’s Facebook (future ticker symbol, “FB”) issued its SEC mandated S-1 filing setting in motion the most long-awaited IPO since the formation of the Holy Roman Empire. But does a reported $10 billion market capitalized IPO translate into long-term influence?

Merkel’s Germany has already gone public (about 900 years ago), so it holds no sway over competing underwriters let alone warring stock exchanges all vying for the prestige of listing a high-visibility stock. Zuckerberg wins that competition in a nanosecond.


At the same time one might ask: Does Zuckerberg directly influence the economic fate of 500 million Europeans and the future of a common currency?. He may be personally XX times wealthier than Merkel, but he does not hold the balance of an entire continent in his hands, no matter how well he understands social media software algorithms.

Some may conclude that I have overlooked the present occupant of that white house on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. Perish the thought. The power of the presidency is the presidency. Having said that, President Obama would be getting his knickers in a twist to be able to run for re-election based upon a AAA bond rating, low unemployment rate, decreasing budget deficit and increasing economic growth. He has none of these cards to play, but Merkel does…maybe that is why she is running 12 points ahead of her nearest competitor, Peer Steinbruck of the Social Democrats.

What is particularly noteworthy about the former physicist, who grew up on the wrong side of the Wall, is that she is not a horn blower. The Europeans seem to hold as many summits as the Republicans stage debates, and yet Merkel’s steady style seems suited (skirted?) for these gatherings.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (like Obama , facing a tough re-elect) has been forced to accept the junior partner role to Merkel, ironically the Chancellor from the “Fatherland.” As Charlemagne wrote in The Economist, “It is an old tenet of European politics that the Franco-German partnership is necessary to disguise German strength and French weakness.”

Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney has criticized Obama stating that the president wants to convert America into a European-style social welfare state. Emulating basket case Europe is not a pleasant vision, but duplicating Germany’s economic accomplishments under Merkel looks mighty inviting right about now.




Why are men their own worst PR enemies?

Why is it only a matter of time before the blood gushes out of our collective brains flowing due south and getting far-too-many of us into some really deep doo-doo?

Are we really just slaves to our Schlanges (pronounced shlongers as in the one-eyed shlonger)?


Do any of us really understand the word, “Accountability?”

As we live in a society of quicker-and-quicker news cycles, what was the story that blew Donald Trump and his annoying hair-do, personality and penchant for the “F-word” off the pages (as if there are still pages)? The shooting of Osama bin Laden and the feeding of his remains to Indian Ocean sharks.

And as welcome as the Navy-Seal-Osama-bin-Laden story was to the world that news cycle passed so much faster than what most of us in the strategic communications choreography would have originally thought; it was short, very short.

What ended the universal attention of the Osama bin Laden commando raid was two Schlange-induced stories in rapid succession, the au-naturel rape attempt of New York Sofitel chamber-maid by former IMF-chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn; and the love child revelation by former California Governator AH-nold Schwarzenegger, and the related divorce proceedings by Maria Shriver.

Were we really that surprised? To some extent, yes; and to some extent, no.

What was surprising was that Mssr Dominique, one of the most powerful men on the planet, staying in a $3,000 per night suite, couldn’t have just followed the lead of so many of his countrymen and rented a discreet happy ending?  If so, he would have simply tucked his Schlange back into his pants, settled into his first class seat on Air France, continued to try to bail out Greece while setting his sights on Nicolas Sarkozy.

In AH-Nold’s case you ask why someone so fortunate to be married to filet mignon, would take such a huge gamble with skirt steak in the form of domestic help that lives in a monopoly house on a God-awful Bakersfield cul-de-sac?

The females of the species, who has been shaking their collective heads for years and years, are just thinking this is more of the same. This time it is Dominique and AH-Nold. Before it was Eliot. It was Hugh Grant. It was Tiger. It was Bill and Monica. It was Al and the masseuse. It was John Edwards and Rielle. It was Larry Craig and the bathroom stall. It was Brett Favre and his sexted Schlange. It was… (Add your favorite notorious Schlange story here).

Which brings up the next question: Do we really subscribe to the so-called biological imperative that men must spread our seed far-and-wide, across hill-and-dale, from sea-to-shining sea, across the fruited plain to fertilize as many eggs as we possibly can? To borrow an oft-repeated contention in another context, are we simply born this way?

If we subscribe to this notion then we have to come to the next logical conclusion, and that is that men are victims of our biology. We really cannot control what we do. Could this contention that my Schlange made me do it be the 21st Century version of the “Twinkie” defense? Are men simply helpless in subservience to our Schlanges?

What about that organ in between our ears as opposed to the one in between our legs? What about accountability? What about integrity? What about discipline? Didn’t Vince Lombardi say that there is something in good men that yearns for discipline?

And you wonder why the PR profession is being taken over by women? Are they perfect? Ask virtually any woman if she is perfect, and a litany of real or perceived faults will in most cases come flowing out…and that is refreshing.

Alas, for men our misadventures on behalf of our beloved Schlanges will inevitably keep marching on. One related PR debacle will follow another. Eighty-five year-old Hugh Hefner will marry (his third) 25-year-old former Playmate Crystal Harris on June 18. Hugh spared men from having to wonder what Crystal will look like on her wedding night. Now we can simply join with women in wondering what the dress will look like.





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