Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ségo Courts Mélenchon

In 2007 it was Bayrou, in the center; this year it's Mélenchon, on the left. Ségolène Royal, running well back in the polls and with time running out, has apparently decided to try a Hail Mary pass, and JLM, way out on the left flank, is headed downfield with arms outstretched hoping to make the play. Right about now I'm sure the folks at the NPA are patting themselves on the back for not falling in with Mélenchon. And the Communists may be wondering if they haven't been snookered into another Programme Commun, out of which they'll get a couple of portfolios in the Ministries of Transporation and Sports.

How all of this might be playing in Peoria, or, rather, Poitiers, remains to be seen. Our own tireless commentator from la France profonde, MYOS, reports that Royal has made a solid connection with the "red base" in her (his--male or female, MYOS?) part of rural France. If so, the polls haven't registered it yet. I wouldn't be entirely surprised. But how would an alliance with the Front de Gauche affect this part of the electorate? In any case, I think back to Ségolène's visit to Harvard, where she described her ambition as uniting the entire anti-Sarkozy opposition "from Besancenot to Bayrou." Now I guess it's "Mélenchon to Morin." At dinner I asked her how she planned to do this. She was of course evasive: by being more convincing than the others, or words to that effect. But her new strategy is clear: by attacking the banks. Mélenchon welcomes this rhetoric.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

brent said...

With all due respect, Art, I fear your 'hail mary pass' metaphor has run away with you here. Far from signaling some new 'common program' Ségo's visit to the Huma Fête is just the same sort of courtesy call Aubry and Montebourg are making. And far from reaching out toward some new alliance, Mélenchon merely accepts the homage ("If she wants to demonstrate her affinity for our program, we'll be glad to welcome her," )[]. So let's not get carried away: the FdG isn't inflecting toward the right or preparing any late-night alliances (that we know of), and Ségo is merely looking for primary votes wherever she might find them--which could include some far lefties who will never vote for her in the regular election.

Cincinna said...

One doesn't make "courtesy calls" to Communists.
The smart political move was François Hollande. He is the far smarter candidate, understanding that the votes to win the nomination, and the general, are much more in the center than on the far left.

Anonymous said...

Cincinna: I find it interesting that the Right approves of Hollande skipping the Fête de l'HUMA!
That should worry Hollande's supporters :)

La fête de l'Huma is hardly considered communist, except for its speeches and politicians. It's like a giant county fair close to Paris (okay, a banlieue de paris) with political stands everywhere in addition to food stands and fun stuff to see/do. I'm pretty sure 90% people present yesterday had nothing to do with communism, or any ideology whatsoever.

I'm pretty sure it's some kind of Leftist ritual: you show up, you're heckled, you show fortitude in the face of adversity, you get a red badge of courage and you're deemed "fréquentable" by the left. So either Hollande is trying to change the ritual (I hope he's got a plan for the 2nd round in 2012) or he didn't dare meet the communists, who are quite restless and aggressive.

Royal and Montebourg came to participate: one to discuss two common projects, one to debate publicly. They weren't ruffled by the heckling and the booing. They got their red badge. :p
Aubry came to listen to the Communist Leader's speech (a more passive role than the other two) and when the crowd started their standard pushing/heckling, she had to be exfiltrated because she totally freaked out. The bouncers pulled out knuckledusters to push the crowd back. It was quite an amazing sight, surrealistic. Weirdly, either it's happened before (with Fabius? Did he freak out too?) or few people were as shocked as I was by this episode, because it's been hardly mentioned anywhere in the press - in fact, unless I'm mistaken, Le Monde mentioned a "chahut" for a couple lines and then edited the mention out. I was pretty sure there was a section titled "Aubry chahutée" and when I came back to read comments today, it wasn't there. I'm scratching my head and wondering, seriously. Did I dream it? Did I read wrong?)

Myos (she - and to answer a prior question: because of Greek ancestors :p. I was proud of my idea until I realized several people seemed to have had the same roots as I did :p)

Anonymous said...

Unrelated to la fête, if you can, listen to France Inter's program 12-1pm today, in relation to the book below. If it were some disreputable radio I wouldn't mention it but it was jaw-dropping.épublique-mallettes-Pierre-Péan/dp/2213666067/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1316341113&sr=8-1
The book was mentioned yesterday by Audrey Pulvar on Ruquier's show.
BTW, if you want to see feisty leftists, watch Mélenchon in On est pas couchés. All the limits of the rhetorics but also all the appeal it may have for some.
You know you're in France when everybody agrees with Mélenchon's goal, even if not with the method. (Ruquier: if you're elected, I leave. Mélenchon (kidding): during the revolution, some ran, too. they were caught.")