Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Aubry vs. Hollande
Rue89 says Martine has it in for François. Her grievances include clogged toilets at rue Solférino. I can see that this is going to be an edifying battle. Do I have a dog in this race? Frankly, no, and perhaps this will make me more objective than I was in the case of DSK. In retrospect, I think I was unduly impressed by the polls and simply assumed he would be the strongest candidate of the left, despite my (serious) misgivings about his skills as a retail politician, which should have given me more pause. Not only that, but I'm asking myself exactly why I credited him with "competence" not possessed by other potential candidates. Exactly what his distinctive views on the economy were I couldn't say. At the IMF he favored expansive monetary and fiscal policy, but that was a relatively easy call for anyone not afflicted with the professional blindness of a European central banker. So: lesson learned. Scrutinize policy more closely, consider character more fully, and pay attention to the ability to appeal to voters. On the last point, I don't think either Aubry or Hollande has shown much. On character, Royal accused Aubry of stealing the leadership election, and there may well have been something to the charge; Hollande may have helped cover up Tristane Banon's allegations against DSK, and both probably knew about them. On policy, I don't yet see much to choose between them. Hollande has been the more diligent campaigner, however.