Who is Nicholas Sarkozy, the embattled French Interior Minister?
A man with incredible drive, ambition and energy, he makes no secret of his ambition to become President in the 2007 elections.
The young Nicholas was small for his age and felt like an outsider, humiliated by real or imagined fingers pointing at him.
As the middle son of a couple who divorced when he was five, Nicholas thought he didn't fit in with the bourgeois, Catholic environment of his wealthy west Paris neighbourhood.
Moreover, his maternal grandfather, in whose house they lived, was Greek and Jewish, and his father was Hungarian.
All these differences from the west Paris norm made him feel ridiculed and despised.
He never wanted to be in that position again.
Aged 50, he's been Minister of Finance, of the Interior (twice), and president of the ruling UMP party.
During a TV interview he was asked whether, in the morning, when he shaves, he thinks about becoming President.
The answer:.."not just when I'm shaving".
And what about his politics? Unusually, for France, he is an Atlanticist, and is also in favour of affirmative action.
Will this make or break him?
In this special edition of Airmail, Esther Leneman profiles the man they call "Sarko".