Sarkozy's first public appearance since leaving office in 2012 came on Feb. 10 at an event for Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, the center-right Union for a Popular Movement party candidate for mayor of Paris, The Guardian newspaper reported.
His advisers and supporters have voiced concern that returning to the public eye may hurt his chances of re-election if voters tire of him. Sarkozy is 59.
"It's all too fast," one of them said. "He hasn't ever spent any time in the [political] wilderness," said a former minister.
Members of Sarkozy's staff said his official strategy is to go slow, which Sarkozy himself has said is the right choice.
However, "With Nicolas Sarkozy you say: 'We'll do as we said', but in the end he's the one who decides," said Brice Hortefeux, Sarkozy's deputy.
Opponents have questioned whether there is any strategy at all since Sarkozy's camp.
"I don't think there's any tactics or strategy," said an aide to a top minister. "It's just psychological. He wants to be out on the campaign trail. He's addicted to elections."