Thursday, Apr. 01, 2010

Nicolas Sarkozy

Age: 55
Occupation: President of France
Previous TIME 100 Appearances: 1

Intense, driven and just plain restless, Sarkozy has set a pace of reform and policymaking that allies and opponents alike struggle to keep up with. Refusing what he scorns as artificial ideological constraints, Sarkozy unapologetically swaps market liberalism with French interventionism depending on the challenge before him — a pragmatic method that has produced decidedly mixed results at home. He has similarly insisted on floating unorthodox and controversial initiatives abroad, including calls for strict regulation of international financial markets, targets for reducing global warming that were rejected in Copenhagen and a harder line with Iran that he publicly lectured President Obama on. Sarkozy may not always get the results he is after, but he's a mesmerizing force in seeking to obtain them.