PARIS (Reuters) French President Nicolas Sarkozy, eager to show himself as a man of the people, has revamped his Facebook networking page with home videos of him flirting and discussing world politics with his wife, Carla.
Sarkozy’s love of sunglasses and big watches earned him the nickname “President Bling-Bling” early on in his presidency, and his marriage to the model-turned-singer continues to keep the gossip columnists busy.
But his new Facebook site aims for a more domestic feel, with a video of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy chatting to a group of women visiting the presidential palace, telling them about her husband’s busy life in admiring tones.
Sarkozy then bursts into the room and kisses his wife, who affectionately strokes his hands and arms for the remainder of the video.
“I’m going to have a visit from the Iraqi prime minister,” Sarkozy says, to which his wife replies: “Brilliant!”
When he leaves, she calls out “Take care, sweetie!”
Another video shows Sarkozy and the first lady cooing over their dogs, possibly inspired by the media frenzy over U.S. President Barack Obama’s dog, Bo.
Revamping the site, which counts more than 96,000 “friends,” was meant to show “the man rather than the head of state,” the president’s office said.
Sarkozy’s previous profile photo showed him in a somber suit and tie, more in line with traditional French presidential decorum.
The site still runs official communiques, photos and news, all accompanied by the new profile picture of a grinning Sarkozy in a white shirt the top buttons undone.
The new style may also be an attempt to usurp attention from other Facebook sites referring to the president. The site “I bet I can find one million people who hate Nicolas Sarkozy” has more than 200,000 members.
Reporting by Yann Le Guernigou and Sophie Hardach; Editing by Matthew Jones