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Dominique de Villepin, the haughty, Bill-Maher–looking former French prime minister who was the principal architect of Jacques Chirac’s anti-American foreign policy — as well as his political guru — and who appered to be politically deceased, was in court this morning to hear the decision of the judges in the Clearstream affair. Le Monde was collecting Tweets, blog-posts, wire stories, and other journo-jetsam, and English newspapers were headlining “the trial of the century.”

But after a morning of media melodrama, Villepin was cleared — not that that will change most people’s perception of the guy, as this precap in Le Monde makes clear. The new set of headlines — like this “turning the page” riff in Le Figaro — inevitably will have to do with the resurrection of the political career of the man my children call “Cruella de Villepin.”

It may be worth noting that Villepin, the arch-énarque, has never actually run for office; throughout his career, he’s been appointed to everything but elected to nothing. Nevertheless after the leaderless Left slaps around Sarko and the UMP in the 2010 local elections, a political person like Villepin might look charming in 2012.


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