Friday, June 15, 2007

The Politics of Me Too? (Guest post)

Nicolas Sarkozy's provisional cabinet has drawn so broadly from across the political spectrum that it's now become something of a pastime to speculate on who else he considered including. Le Monde reported yesterday that Christiane Taubira -- the deputy from Guyana most famous for her advocacy of the law to recognize slavery as having been a "crime against humanity" (law now informally referred to as the "Loi Taubira") -- has confirmed rumors that she had been approached by people from the Sarkozy team regarding the possibility of her joining his government, but insists that she refused. Rémy-Louis Budoc, the person she defeated to advance to the second round of the legislative elections (and whom she also defeated in 2002) invoked his official capacity as UMP secretary in the department to deny Mme Taubira's claims, asserting that she is "too sectarian" and that she had criticized President Sarkozy "in a manner too unjust" to merit being considered to join what is now the Fillon government. Of course, heavy criticism didn't prevent Sarkozy from bringing the maverick Socialist Bernard Kouchner into the government. Whatever the truth, what's also interesting here is that Taubira would want the public to know (or think) she was considered part of the inner circle. Even if she claims she declined the offer, her publicizing of it has an air of "me too" to it. This may do more to reinforce Sarkozy's broad reach than it does to underscore that she stood by her convictions in not joining. If you can't beat them, say you were asked to join them?

-- Mary D. Lewis