Biography paints French first lady as 'chameleon'

PARIS (AP) - September 14, 2010

Besma Lahouri, the author of "Carla: A Secret Life," told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday that "the French don't know their first lady, and her worries seem to them very far removed from their own." Lahouri's much-anticipated book is being released Wednesday.

The author also says an alleged rivalry with Michelle Obama has strained relations between the French and U.S. presidential couples.

The book comes at a time when conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy's popularity has plummeted, and he is being criticized for raising the retirement age and cracking down on Eastern European Gypsies.

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