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Sarkozy’s Town Hall Appearance Sideshow for Carla Bruni

Nicolas Sarkozy
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy greets spectators as he takes his seat to attend his wife Carla Bruni's concert at the Town Hall on Broadway in New York on April 24, 2014. Photographer: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images

April 25 (Bloomberg) -- Nicolas Sarkozy was simply showing up at New York’s Town Hall to support his wife, the French singer, yet for former presidents nothing is ever normal.

When the former French leader slid into his chair for wife Carla Bruni’s only East Coast U.S. concert last night, he was met at first by a sprinkling of applause and a few autograph seekers. Then, within minutes, Sarkozy was mobbed.

Concert-goers on the balcony level were cautioned against leaning too far over the railing to get a closer look.

“That’s my president,” one French woman told an usher, explaining that she was not trying to commit suicide.

Sarkozy took it all in stride, posing for every “selfie” request from admiring smart-phone photographers, and shrugging off encouragement to run again for office.

French observers suggest Sarkozy, 59, is preparing for a comeback and could defeat an unpopular President Francois Hollande in 2017. Sarkozy served from 2007 to 2012.

For her part, Bruni, on tour promoting her fourth album, “Little French Songs,” never acknowledged Sarkozy. She did sing a song “for my man” entitled “Mon Raymond.”

In the lyrics, she croons about loving a “complex” man who wears a tie, yet deep down “he’s a pirate.”

Sarkozy was wearing a suit and tie.

Should she ever become France’s first lady again, she asks never to be known as “Madame.”

“I hate it,” she said last night, before singing the track, “Pas une Dame” (Not a Lady).

Should Sarkozy decide not to run after all, it seems he could be content with the title of “Carla’s husband.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Green in Washington at sgreen57@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net Elizabeth Wasserman

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