France’s first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy says she can’t wait to meet her incoming American counterpart, Michelle Obama.
“I don’t know her yet,” the model-turned-pop singer said in an interview with TV’s Public Senat. “I admire the couple though and I can’t wait to meet her. To see this couple go to the White House is just magnificent, a magnificent symbol, a progress.”
Inspired by Barack Obama’s election, Bruni-Sarkozy and other leading figures are calling for an end to racist discrimination in French politics and society.
The daily Journal du Dimanche published a “manifesto” calling on employers to hire more minorities and urges the government to fight racism and improve schools in ethnically mixed neighborhoods. Politicians from the left and right, and other public figures, signed the manifesto released Sunday.
She said in light of Obama’s election in the U.S., France is running “behind” in its efforts to build a more diverse political elite.
Meanwhile, Bruni-Sarkozy is trying to stiffarm her Italian heritage after hearing Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s crack about Obama’s “suntan.”
The First Lady, who married French President Nicolas Sarkozy in February after a whirlwind romance, became a French national and lost her Italian citizenship after her marriage.
In the Le Journal du Dimanche interview, she put Berlusconi on blast for saying on Thursday that Obama was “handsome, young and also suntanned.”
“When I hear Silvio Berlusconi making light of the event (Obama’s election) and joking about the fact that Obama is ‘always tanned’, it feels strange to me,” Bruni-Sarkozy was quoted as saying. “Some people will no doubt put it down to humor, but often I find that I am pleased to have become French.”