Gauche Caviar & Good Wine
Nicolas Sarkozy, le President de la France, has, as promised, appointed the Socialist Bernard Kouchner, co-founder of Doctors without Borders, as his foreign minister.
Today’s New York Times has an informative profile, spiced with some telling tidbits.
Mr. Kouchner, who has served as France’s health minister and the
United Nations’ administrator for Kosovo, has also been the country’s
most popular politician on the left over the years.
Elegant, dapper, with movie-star looks despite his age, Mr. Kouchner is half of one of France’s leading power couples.
longtime partner, Christine Ockrent, is probably France’s best-known
female television journalist. They entertain regularly from their grand
duplex apartment overlooking the Luxembourg Garden; they always get the
best restaurant tables. They have been tarred by their critics with the
label “gauche caviar,” Champagne-and-caviar socialism at its worst.
Longtime friends of Mr. Kouchner are delighted for him, but worried
that his blunt-speaking, off-the-cuff style may clash with that of his
new boss. “Sarkozy’s views are totally different from those of
Bernard,” said Max Recamier, one of the doctors with whom Mr. Kouchner
founded Doctors Without Borders. “He hesitated a lot before accepting.
But what drives him is not a hunger for power but a passion for
promoting justice and easing suffering in the world. And let’s face it,
he’s 67 now. He’s mellowed — like a good wine.”