Tout devient clair. Jean-Louis Borloo wants to be mayor of Paris. Jean-François Copé wants to prevent his archrival François Fillon from becoming mayor of Paris, but he needs powerful assistance to achieve this goal. So Borloo runs for president, plunging a serious thorn into the side of Nicolas Sarkozy, who needs Borloo's votes in order to make it to round 2 against Marine Le Pen. Ergo, Borloo now has a bargaining chip: in return for Sarko's support for his mayoral candidacy, Borloo will eventually stand aside. Of course, this means that Sarko will be shafting Fillon, but Fillon has served his purpose, and Copé will be pleased, though of course Sarko doesn't trust Copé any more than he trusts Fillon.
And then in 2017, Copé and Fillon will square off for the presidency, but Borloo will hope to have built a powerful enough base in Paris by then to make his own presidential bid. Meanwhile, the recent passe d'armes over the nomination to the finance ministry has put Le Maire in Copé's camp (to my dismay--I like Le Maire, perhaps more than I should, because he has a literary sensibility, while I dislike Copé), and aligned Baroin with Fillon. This is the cream of the right, the future présidentiables, and what a nest of intrigue it is. They're almost as contentious as the Socialists. For la petite histoire, readers may be interested to know that Borloo is married to Béatrice Schönberg, ex-présentatrice of France 2, while Baroin used to be the companion of Marie Drucker, Schönberg's replacement. What a cozy little world, cette classe politique.