What is Nicolas Sarkozy’s problem with his height? He can’t seem to go a week without turning up in the press reportedly wearing a pair of stacked heels and standing on tiptoe in an effort to make himself feel taller – be it next to Barack Obama or factory workers in Normandy.
His latest stunt, being widely reported on in the press at the moment, is the photo opportunity he took at a Normandy factory last Thursday, in which the workers he was photographed with were all shorter than he was.
Sarkozy stands at either 5’5” or 5’6”, depending on which journal you read – it’s abundantly clear that he is constantly kept on his toes trying to obfuscate on the issue of his height – but this latest venture, where volunteers shorter than the French president were called for to stand behind him as he made a speech, takes his problems with the state of his limited verticality to new heights. He seems to be developing a Napoleon complex. This is not an attractive trait in the French president, as history has shown.
The fact that the Élysée Palace spinmeisters haven’t taken the issue in hand, and instead seem to be actively falling in step with Sarkozy’s wishes, only adds to the Napoleonic complexity of the matter. They need to do something if they want to stop him becoming a laughing stock. One simply cannot be a global leader and not be able to deal with one’s height – or lack of it – in the 21st century.
It’s a PR disaster to be seen as so self-obsessed when there are much bigger issues in the world that need much more urgent attention. Sarkozy needs to get over his personal issues, throw out his Cuban heels, realise that he has an attractive trophy wife and that some people envy him for that (this seems to be the sort of recognition he’s craving) and, most of all, recognise that the whole world is watching – and laughing at – his methods of projecting himself.
This footage is from the original Belgian report that broke the news that Sarkozy was actively seeking people his height or shorter to stand behind him on the podium…