He posed in spectacular grandeur as the neo-imperial Liberator of Libya -- only a few years after Colonel Muammar Gaddafi helped finance his 2007 election campaign with a cool US$65 million.
And still, this Sunday, French voters -- in a Facebook-style remix of the fall of the Bastille -- are bound to yell "Off with his head."
Why? Hubris. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, aka neo-Napoleonic King Sarko, former king of bling bling, "Chouchou" to [Italian] First Lady Carla Bruni, may be his own worst enemy. 
Bashir Saleh is Gaddafi's former chief of staff and former president of the Libyan sovereign wealth fund. He was the go-to guy when the regime decided to finance Sarkozy's 2007 presidential campaign.
King Sarko, predictably, denied everything and said he would sue the French website, Mediapart, that revealed what many already knew. Yet this Thursday, former Libyan prime minister Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi confirmed it all over again. And that's exactly what Gaddafi's son and former darling of the London School of Economics, Saif al-Islam, had said in March 2011: "Sarkozy must give back the money he accepted from Libya to finance his presidential campaign."
Saleh is now under Interpol watch, but he remains in France, authorized by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) rebel regime in Libya that otherwise is pursuing him ... He happens to maintain a cozy 4 million euro (US$5.2 million) abode near the Swiss border, with a view to Mont Blanc.
All that protected by the police of King Sarko, who said everything is going on "with the full agreement of president [of the Libyan Transitional Council] Mustapha Abdel Jalil." Life is good; this week Saleh was spotted hanging out at the Ritz in Paris.
My vote is for Carla
The French presidential campaign came to the proverbial anti-climax this week in an almost three-hour long debate between King Sarko and Socialist Party challenger Francois Hollande. Trillions of bytes hit the screens describing the debate essentially as "tense." No KO was delivered. Sarko behaved like a Duracell bunny on crack, while Hollande -- with the charisma of a dry sausage -- actually looked solid and relatively precise.
As the macarron to complement the cafe, centrist Francois Bayrou -- who got 9.1% of the votes in the first round -- manifested his repulsion towards Sarko's campaign to seduce the extreme right and announced he would vote for Hollande.
By the way, no less than 33% of French voters sat out the first round, preferring instead to concentrate on the geopolitical ramifications of consummate top model Carla Bruni's looks. 
The real winner of the first round -- a toxic political Hellfire missile, no less -- was the French extreme right, via the National Front (18% of votes) "normalized" by savvy businesswoman Marine Le Pen, the daughter of founder and certified fascist Jean-Marie Le Pen.