Because he is worth it?
Talk of getting a make-over. The French are known for their personal vanity, and I mean that in a nice sense, but President Nicolas Sarkozy has just taken it a bit further. There are allegations that L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt gave a substantial 150,000 euros in cash for his presidential campaign.
Donations to political candidates are a norm all over the world. It is a bit ridiculous that if the accusations stick, then it would be deemed illegal since it crosses the permitted amount of 7,500 euros for political parties.
In India industrial houses give huge sums to see that the favourite, and favourable to them, candidate and party wins. It is quite the done thing in the US and the UK too, and the kind of leverage business groups as well as communities manage to get has a lot to do with how much they can shell out.
L’Oreal is an established brand internationally and whatever murky deals the owners are in, there ought to be questions raised regarding the way the political system works. Did Sarkozy win the elections because of this money and not any other? Since he is the guy ruling the country, it means people elected him. Was it because of the public image, the beautified face, the superficial things? Then, who is to blame for such a victory if people fall for the façade?
Why has it taken three years for the ‘scandal’ to be outed? I think it is all cosmetic. Rivals. L’Oreal’s own brand imaging – notoriety in a fairly liberal society is seen as quite charming. And who knows – possibly Sarko’s own mean PR machinery ready to make him feel like a million bucks. In a down-in-the-dumps economy, this is rich and reassuring.
I suspect in the next elections, the new guy will not have to bring something better, but something snazzier and beat the figures.