Why The French Think Carla Bruni's Pregnant

Shawls, a Cannes no-show, and her husband's poll numbers all play a role

This article is from the archive of our partner .

French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy was a no-show today at Cannes, fueling ever-stronger rumors. Is Bruni pregnant? The French think so, and we're inclined to defer to them on such matters. Liberation notes one French car rental company has already started advertising minivans with the tagline, "Dear Mrs. Bruni, would you need a family?" Even from an ocean away, we can see four telltale signs.

She's not at Cannes

That's the big news from today. It's not just that she's the president of France's wife and the Cannes film festival is an institution. She also has a small role as a tour guide in Woody Allen's new film Midnight In Paris, which opened the festival today. Nevertheless, she didn't show this evening at the premiere.

She's draping herself in pashminas

The former fashion model has abandoned designer looks of late for billowy shawls that could conceal a baby bump. Both the press and members of the public have noticed the change in style. The Associated Press cited Bruni's "new habit of covering her belly with a strategically placed pashmina during recent official appearances" as a sign she was pregnant. "She hides her little tum with a shawl every time a photographer approaches," groused one Le Parisien reader.

She's issuing coy non-denials

Bruni undoubtedly knows the risks of getting pregnant at 43, but her non-answers have only whetted the public's appetite. Rather than declaring the issue off limits, she's said publicly that she would "really like to talk about it," but her "lips are sealed to protect somebody."

Her husband's poll numbers are terrible

Call us cynical, but there's no way a pregnant and glowing First Couple wouldn't lead to a bounce in Sarkozy's record-low 21 percent approval rating. Other folks have pointed this out, too. Never one to forgo some French-baiting, The Telegraph notes that while the pregnancy talk has been "dismissed by some as little more than a cynical attempt to boost her husband's flagging popularity...it [has] been hoped by some that the rumours would boost him by as much as five points." From there, it's clear sailing to 30 percent approval, presumably.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.