French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to Washington this week showcased the new and improved Franco-American relationship, which began with Sarkozy’s election in May. While Sarkozy has already stirred things up in France through his efforts to jumpstart a sluggish economy, scrap outdated labor practices, and restrict immigration, he has also challenged the status quo by making strong Franco-American relations a top priority again. Gone are the icy stares that characterized the relationship during the lead up to war in Iraq, with Sarkozy telling an enthusiastic joint session of Congress on Wednesday that “America can count on France” again. What’s driving this new found friendship?

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