I got silly one afternoon — Monday, if you care — on Google, and typed in: “politicians with nice legs.”
Result the first:
Valérie Pécresse, forty-nine, is the President of the Regional Council
of Île-de-France; she has served on the Council for twelve years. She is a member of a center-right party called The Republicans, formed from the remains of Jacques Chirac’s Union for a Popular Movement. (Could you imagine an American center-right party called the Republicans? I didn’t think so.)
Since I generally react like Gomez Addams to a woman speaking French, here’s Mme. Pécresse debating French academic Axel Kahn:
Which is not to say she’s emotionally wedded to her language. She speaks four, and one of them got her into trouble in 2009:
They were giving out the annual Prix de la Carpette Anglaise the other day. Literally it means the English Rug Prize, but doormat would be the better translation.
As the citation explains, the award goes to the French person or institution who has given the best display of “fawning servility” to further the insinuation into France of the accursed English language… topping the poll for grave disservices to the mother tongue is France’s higher education minister, Valérie Pécresse.
Her crime: proclaiming to the press that she had no intention of speaking French when attending European meetings in Brussels, because, she said, it was quite obvious that English was now the easiest mode of communication.
Perhaps she should have tried Russian. Or Japanese.