The NEWSWEEK 50: Nicolas Sarkozy

France's president, it's often said, has more energy than that drum-beating rabbit on TV, and he's imposed himself on European and global affairs with about as much subtlety. But it's been a long time since Washington had such a good friend in the Élysée Palace, and for the new U.S. administration Sarkozy will be the go-to guy in Europe. During his six-month term as European Union president, Sarkozy faced down the Russians in Georgia, then helped pull together Europe's response to the economic meltdown. In 2009 he'll return France to NATO's unified command for the first time in 42 years. In war or peace, he's a leader to be reckoned with. (Story continued below...)