As Sarko retreats from the stage following his narrow defeat (he was trailing Marine Le Pen in the polls a year ago) it is fair to ponder what lessons can be learnt by politicans. One thing seems clear to me: pandering and posturing, as opposed to actually making decisions gets you nowhere in the end. It’s a common legacy of the Chirac/Sarkozy years, where hard decisions on labour and pension reforms were delayed and ignored for years, leaving a legacy of nothing. Would he have been reelected if he had pursued the radical “rupture” with the past he had proclaimed in 2007? Possibly, if the reforms had actually started to deliver on tackling unemployment. Even if they hadn’t delivered during his time in the Elysee, they would have benefitted France in the long run, and his legacy too. Instead, he leaves office more remembered for his love life and his perceived materialistic shallowness. There’s a lesson here for a generation of politicians who seem to believe in nothing other than getting and staying elected: there are more important things than getting re-elected, and history will not be kind to those who just wanted to be there.