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Maureen Orth pens the cover story for Vanity Fair this month… and I came away with one thought: Finally, a political bride I can relate to.  Gone are the politically correct, hyper-careful, contrived notions about whatever news-football is being tossed about.  Orth delivers something altogether different from the typical profile.  Carla Bruni-Sarkozy emerges a thoroughly modern woman with a far more honest approach to life, love, and lovers.

France’s First Lady is an accomplished singer, a former supermodel, and the object of many male fantasies.  her loves and lovers include Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, and Raphaël Enthoven – a professor and radio host with whom Mrs. Bruni has a son.  The most breathtaking romance, at least in the estimation of the chattering class, is the whirlwind that surrounded the courtship with France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy – who was reeling from a bitter divorce.

She also learned to take on men. “Carla is the hunter, not the hunted,” says a man who knew her in her teens. “She is a female womanizer.” Carla herself says she was very much influenced by the works of Simone de Beauvoir and France’s original bourgeois bad girl, Françoise Sagan, who championed sexual freedom for women. “I think it is a major duty for a woman to be independent.”

…“They are hunters who met—predators,” Karl Lagerfeld says of Bruni and Sarkozy. “When two like this meet, it can be good.”

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, Bruni is every bit the legendary beauty we recall from her days alongside Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington on the cat walks during Paris’ fashion week.  But there is more to Carla.  Something innate, relateable.  While there will never be another Jackie O or Madame DeGaulle, the era of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is welcome for those of us living a life less ordinary than our predecessors.

—Media Lizzy