Bush-Obama Vs. Sarkozy-Hollande: Nuances of American and French Democracy

Commentary: The United States and France are the two oldest surviving republics of the world as the American Constitution was promulgated in 1788 and French Revolution took place in 1789. The two republics have diverged in its tendencies as French has rooted in a monarch republic and American has kept its republican roots. The American constitution has remained intact with a few amendments while France has known its 5th constitution.

The tradition of primary elections are deeply rooted in the American system that no incumbent is entitled to bypass it. Primary elections are only a novelty to the French political system. Some incumbents or past presidents feel entitled to bypass the primary election system that they had established themselves. Due to bad governance of Francois Hollande, 46% of French prefer Nicolas Sarkozy be President to Francois Hollande (27%).

President Barack Obama jokes with former President George W. Bush shortly after boarding Air Force One for the trip to South Africa, Dec. 9, 2013.

President Barack Obama jokes with former President George W. Bush shortly after boarding Air Force One for the trip to South Africa, Dec. 9, 2013.

Falcon planes transporting Sarkozy and Hollande separately to South Africa.

The rancor and big egos are part of politicians’ personalities. Negative campaigns are parts of the political life. However, French leaders have harder time to swallow their prides. Sarkozy and Hollande could not stand each other for 13 hour flight to  South Africa to attend Mandela’s funeral. In contrast, American leaders can put aside their differences for the photo-ops or  sharing with the exclusive club members. The travel of the current and former French president to South Africa had been a polemic in the media for the past few days.

The travels of former and current presidents show the maturity of democracy of France and the United States.

 American Delegation to Mandela’s Tribute:

President Barack Obama jokes with former President George W. Bush shortly after boarding Air Force One for the trip to South Africa, Dec. 9, 2013.

President Barack Obama jokes with former President George W. Bush shortly after boarding Air Force One for the trip to South Africa, Dec. 9, 2013.

PHOTO: President Obama and President Bush talk as they get ready to have dinner aboard Air Force One with their wives and Valerie Jarrett, Tina Tchen and Susan Rice.

President Obama and President Bush talk as they get ready to have dinner aboard Air Force One with their wives and Valerie Jarrett, Tina Tchen and Susan Rice.

On Air Force One, former President Bush shows photos to First Lady Michelle Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Valerie Jarrett, National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice, Attorney General Eric Holder and former First Lady Laura Bush.

On Air Force One, former President Bush shows photos to First Lady Michelle Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Valerie Jarrett, National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice, Attorney General Eric Holder and former First Lady Laura Bush.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talks with the Obamas, Ben Rhodes and Capricia Marshall aboard Air Force One, Dec. 9, 2013.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talks with the Obamas, Ben Rhodes and Capricia Marshall aboard Air Force One, Dec. 9, 2013.

PHOTO: President and Mrs. Obama, former President and Mrs. Bush, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrive in South Africa, Dec. 10, 2013.

President and Mrs. Obama, former President and Mrs. Bush, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrive in South Africa, Dec. 10, 2013.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was among the group that traveled to South Africa Monday, but she did not leave on Air Force One with the delegation Tuesday.

 

President Obama, Michelle Obama, President George W. Bush and Laura Bush board Air Force One to depart South Africa after a memorial service for Nelson Mandela.

President Obama, Michelle Obama, President George W. Bush and Laura Bush board Air Force One to depart South Africa after a memorial service for Nelson Mandela.

 French Delegation to Mandela’s Tribute:

Two Falcon planes transporting the French delegation to Mandela’s funeral. Hollande and Sarkozy need to fly separately.

Arrival of Francois Hollande to South Africa.

Sarkozy joined Hollande upon the official arrival.

Airplane fleet of French government

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Sarkozy and Hollande sat next to each other during Mandela’s tribute.

Hollande looks for his plane before departure from South Africa

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