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.