Europe has taken a turn left (if that's possible). In France, Le Parti Socialiste won big with the election of Francois Hallande to replace the (so-called) conservative Président Nicolas Sarkozy. Hallande is a typical European/French socialist; i.e. anti-capitalist statist, anti-American etc. as well as being a very peculiar individual. He's never been married but likes to chase the skirts (huge surprise there), rides around Paris on a scooter (pussy!), and his mistress of 25 years (and mother to his four children) was also a candidate for President (they split when he was caught with a little side "morceau de cul" ). But by comparison he's actually quite normal compared to his main party rival Dominique Strauss-Kahn. In his youth he was educated at the best training academies for bureaucrats France has to offer and worked tirelessly for La Grande République's last "official" socialist President Francois Mitterand. I expect he'll run France into the ground almost immediately.
So what happened? The first thing one must know about European politics is that conservatives are not conservative and socialists mean what they say. Sarkozy was elected as a reformer, and he made an attempt but chose to go slow in an effort to mitigate the pain. Not a smart move. Reform, any kind of reform but especially of the magnitude required in France with all their unions and leftists and malcontents, needs to be done quickly and brutally. Pain is inevitable. In order to survive politically, and for the good of France, Sarkozy should have taken a meat cleaver to the problem. But instead he chose the "safe" way, the path with the least pain, the path of slow malignant death: Death for his political career and perhaps death for France and Europe.
There's a lesson to be learned here, and I hope Gov. Romney is watching. Go the way of Ronald Reagan and do what needs to be done in spite of the political threats and blackmail from the left, or be slow and methodical while accomplishing nothing and pissing everybody off, including your base. Sarkozy was either a coward or a fool, either way France was the big loser.