When I got back to the states after half a year of research in France, my Virginia relatives marveled: "Yeah, I bet you heard a lot of French people complaining about Americans!" I resisted the urge to respond, "Well, they certainly do seem to hate one of them who they call Sarko...." Overhearing French people overheating about Nicolas Sarkozy was a daily occurrence last year. The graffiti outside my room in Gardanne read, "Sarko la pute", a nickname I heard often.
According to the Economist, not much has changed this year- hatred of Sarkozy is as strong as ever among the French, although the opposition to so divided that one imagines he'll get reelected anyway. It's worth noting that French hatred for the French President isn't exactly something that started with Nicolas Sarkozy- it's actually hard to remember any French President who wasn't hated by the French public while in office.
It should also be noted that Sarkozy's governing style is sort of a combination of the hyperactive let's-reform-everything-at-once aspect of the Obama administration with the self-righteous, patronizing, jackass arrogance of the Bush administration. So, it's not exactly a surprise that he's encountering resistance. I might be annoyed with his Napoleonic bluster if I lived there. One thing I could not understand, however, is the French embarrassment over their ultra-glamorous First Lady Carla Bruni, pictured here. That seems a complaint too far.