Skip to comments.The Sarkozy Effect
Posted on 01/24/2012 4:46:33 PM PST by Cincinna
In the other election of 2012, the one more imminent, there are only two words worth remembering. The first is leadership. The second is change. The rest, as the French say, is du blah-blah.
If the French decide leadership is more important in a time of crisis they will grit their teeth and re-elect Nicolas Sarkozy. If they want change from a president never close to their hearts, they will as Samuel Johnson said of second marriages embrace hope over experience and elect the Socialist candidate, François Hollande.
On the face of it, Hollande, slimmed-down and cultivated in a way the French like their presidents to be cultivated, should prevail. He has a clear if narrowing lead in opinion polls. The unemployment rate, at a 12-year high, is rising toward double figures. Pension reform has been unpopular. The national mood is sullen even by Gallic standards. The euro agonizes. The left has not held the presidency since, in another era, François Mitterrand stepped down 17 years ago.
In short, this is the French lefts election to lose. They may just do so.
I visited Paris a week ago, persuaded that Hollande would edge it. I came away thinking Sarkozy is the more likely winner. The presidents political courage is undeniable: A lot of people who cant stand him now sense they may need him.
Hollande, the gentleman who went to the right elite schools, has charm and humor but has done nothing to dispel the notion hes a waverer in the crunch. In a rambling appeal to voters this month, published in the daily Libération, he managed not to mention the rest of the world apart from a de rigueur condemnation of unbridled globalization. His vague exhortations reeked of navel-gazing sanctimony.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Sarko is the outsider, Hollande the BoBo-Bourgeois Bohemian, radical chic, la gauche caviar.
To the Left, Sarkozy, who went to the wrong schools, is forever the outsider, the upstart, the usurper a dirty climber blinded by ambition and unworthy of incarnating the French state through the Fifth Republics highest office.
Don’t count Sarko out just yet. As Roger Cohen concludes in his article “Score one and a big one for Sarkozy. Leadership matters.”
Sarkozy, one of the biggest one-world peddlers on the continent, is an outsider?
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