Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Sarkozy Style

Sarkozy se défend de toute "droitisation" by lemondefr

All politicians evade issues when they choose to do so, but Sarkozy has developed evasion into an offensive rather than defensive strategy. He first softens up the enemy with a barrage of rhetorical questions: "Do you really think ... Can you possibly be saying ... Do you find it normal that ..." He invents irrelevant analogies: "If Mme Le Pen says she prefers sunny weather to rain, well, I have news for  you. I agree with her. Does that put me on the extreme right?" You've changed your mind. "So? One has the right to reflect in this life ... but in fact I haven't changed my mind on the substance."

The problem is, as with so much of Sarkozy's style, it's become familiar and tiresome. His scowls, his aggressiveness, his contempt for his interlocutor, his habit of making the form of the questioning the issue rather than the substance .... we've seen it all a thousand times before. It has ceased to be effective.


Anonymous said...

Yesterday was supposed to make it or break it for Sarkozy. He wasn't bad, but the whole first sequence "it wasn't me, it was my ex-wife, the shrew, now I've got a REAL family, I won't do it again" was WTH.

Domenach was at the National Assembly yesterday and he said the UMP representatives were taking pictures of each other and saying goodbyes because many didn't expect to be back in June.

Kirk said...

"It has ceased to be effective."

You think? I found him to be extremely convincing, and while I had only planned to watch a few minutes of the show, I ended up watching the whole thing.

I found Fabius to be tiresome and dismissive to the point of being obnoxious. He either waved his hand or made veiled insults, or got bogged down in tiny technical details that no one cares about.

No, I think Sarkozy did quite well, brushing off a number of attacks, showing his familiarity with figures, and admitting enough mistakes to sound repentent. I'm curious to see Hollande in the same situation; his new-found speaking style is extremely aggressive, and while I have never found him to be convincing, he seems even less so in the footage I've seen of him recently in rallies.

Robert said...

About the UMP parliamentarians: I'd expect many of them will be out, but I wonder if the PS will win a massive majority or even an absolute majority -- if the presidential vote turns out to be a rejection of Sarkozy rather than an endorsement of Hollande.

That's why I'd also be very interested in Bayrou's post-7 Mai intentions: Will he maintain his independent posture, or will he formally seal a center-left parliamentary alliance with the PS -- especially if Hollande needs said alliance to secure the necessary margin in Palais Bourbon? And how would the latter impact Hollande's relationship with EELV and the Front de Gauche?

Arthur Goldhammer said...

Robert, Good points, and I don't know that Bayrou has signaled his intentions on this score.

Anonymous said...

Robert: good point, and indeed Bayrou has not stated "who he'd want to side with". Although he did say he wouldn't vote for Sarkozy.

I wonder who chose Fabius and why. I've read he's supposed to be this great debater but I didn't find him very punchy yesterday. It was obvious he's uncomfortable with Hollande being the candidate (rather than himself or someone of his choosing). Would it have been too hard to send someone who's supported Hollande from the first and isn't know for his burns? Or perhaps Fabius convinced everyone he'd be the best. Fabius looks like the kind of guy who's got no self esteem problems.

Unlike Kirk, though, I didn't think Sarkozy was very good. I don't know what I was expecting but certainly not a blame game. The first part really was too much and it sounded to my ears "it's because of Cecilia/the economic crisis/mitterrand/les 35heures" etc. At the end, the journalist said he'd only made one new proposition, to make it harder for French people to marry non-French people, and he looked mad, adding that now on the presidential candidates wouldn't be picked by elected officials but by citizens themselves, about 3% total people allowed to vote. That's over 1 million people, right? And the citizen sponsors wouldn't be anonymous. If it's hard to get 500 endorsements from 36,000 elected officials how easy do you think it'll be to get 1 million from regular citizens? Whose name would be published? How long to count and confirm them?


Cincinna said...

Sarkozy' is performing well and out maneuvering his adversaries in their attempts to trap him.
He twists them into a pretzel.