If Hillary Clinton was the mastermind of the illegal war on Libya, Nicholas Sarkozy was the public face of the war. But the idea, some would say the nightmare of Sarkozy ever having his face back in the public eye, looks increasingly less likely.
Sarkozy finished a pathetic third in the inter-party elections of his conservative, increasingly neo-conservative, Republican Party. His ambitions of moving back into the Élysée Palace are over once and for all. This can only be a good thing for France and the wider world.
The pro-war, gung-ho NATO-supporting erratic man will no longer stain the image of France. The bad news is that the man who came first in the vote to be the main centre-right Presidential candidate, François Fillon is almost as bad as Sarkozy. He is known in France as sledge-hammering neo-liberal who remains consistently out of touch with economic needs of ordinary French people.
The man who came in second, another former Prime Minister, Alain Juppé was an enthusiastic supporter of the war in Libya when he was Sarkozy’s Defence Minister. His corruption scandals do him no favours either.
Between a Republican Party whose candidates go from bad to worse, to more of the same and a Socialist Party led (for now) by the disgraceful Francois Hollande, chances of a Marine Le Pen victory look increasingly likely. She is not tainted with the stain of bad government, she is not corrupt, few doubt her honesty, and most importantly, she is anti-war and opposed to the neo-liberal economics that have never won favour from the French people in spite of a political elite trying to impose such a system, time and again.
In the same way that America rejected the Bush and Clinton political dynasties, many in France are tired of the same old people from the same old parties. The same old failed, familiar faces cannot be a source of civic inspiration for the citizens of the Fifth Republic.
In many ways, if Jaques Chiric came out of retirement, he would stand the best chance of beating Le Pen, but given the sorry faces of broadly pro-war and pro-globalism candidates likely to stand in the first round of nation-wide elections, Le Pen is the only one whose policies represent a break from the past.
As neo-liberal/neo-con leaders fall like dominoes across Europe, the possibility of real change in France and Europe is becoming an increasingly assured inevitably.