Not long ago, France seemed headed for the most predictable presidential election in living memory. French President Nicolas Sarkozy was deeply unpopular. The French economy was in crisis. With unemployment soaring, Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign promise that, under him, the French would be able to “work more to earn more” had gone up in smoke. Just as damagingly, many had never forgiven him for what they considered his vulgarity: In their minds, somebody who took his romantic prospects for very public dates in Disneyland or hurled coarse insults against protesters was unsuitable for the highest office in the land.