Ségolène Royal

In French politics, Ségolène Royal won the Socialist party nomination, which means she's pretty darn close to becoming the first female president of France. The 2007 election is in April and Royal is seen as the best hope for defeating Nikolas Sarkozy, the right's forerunner. If you aren't into French politics, that's fine, but take a look at Ségolène Royal... she's pretty interesting. There was this big to-do about her being photographed in a bikini while vacationing with her family -- people thought it was indecent to show pictures of a political leader like that, but it also made her appear youthful and vibrant in comparison to all the other male politicians. The NY Times writes:
Ms. Royal’s victory followed months of mudslinging and maneuvering in a campaign that pitted her against the party’s older, more established — and male — “elephants,” whom she had dared to challenge.
Campaigning on a platform of “rupture” with the status quo, she has also capitalized on her femininity while accusing her competitors of chauvinism.
"Gazelles," she said last May, "run faster than elephants."
Responding to voters’ disillusionment with traditional elitist politics, she is promising more power to the people, giving local governments more authority, subsidizing small businesses, creating affordable housing and encouraging citizens to submit their ideas online, for example.
Her civil partner is François Hollande, the French Socialist Party leader, and they have four children together.

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