All hat and no cattle, but what a hat!

Nicolas Sarkozy prepares for a prime time news conference to dispel the idea that he is all flash and no substance….

“Since Tuesday, Elysée Palace has opened its doors to the television crews. A studio has been built in the middle of the Presidential palace’s festive hall. The director Renaud Le Van Kim put a call in to set designer Philippe Désert, who already contributed to the debate between Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal between the two rounds of the presidential election. ‘His back to the Elysée garden, the President will take his place at a triangular translucent Plexiglass table placed on a luminescent platform,’ Philippe Désert explains. … ‘We appreciated the way he treats light, especially the luminescent panels which created a lovely atmosphere around the debaters,’ explains Franck Louvrier, Elysée press counsellor. … ‘The idea is to add some freshness even as we bring out the rococo and baroque style of the surroundings,’ says Philippe Désert. In the background, about 40 spectators will watch the broadcast: ‘We didn’t want well-known personalities, members of the government or of his entourage. We invited the Elysée staff to attend,’ explains Franck Louvrier.
“Off the record, the journalists from the two networks involved explain that everything was decided by the Elysée, and that the proposals submitted by TF1 and France 2 corresponded precisely to the booklet of presidential demands. An allusion to the rumours that Nicolas Sarkozy was disappointed after the broadcast of last Nov. 29, his most recent such exercise. According to several press accounts, Nicolas Sarkozy was critical of a broadcast that was ‘too dated,’ ‘too soft,’ ‘too similar to what we saw under Chirac.’ Those concerned have acted accordingly….”


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