Saturday, April 14, 2012

NY Times Portrait of Hollande

Here. A comparison to Mitt Romney--the unkindest cut of all:
This doesn’t bother Hollande. He described how no one thought François Mitterrand, France’s first and only Socialist president, had a chance of winning. “Often people told me, ‘Oh, la, la, François Mitterrand, what charisma, what a president!’ But before he became president, they used to call him badly dressed, old, archaic, he knows nothing about the economy.” But the day he was elected, Hollande said, Mitterrand was transformed.
“In a moment, you are invested, you incarnate France — that changes everything.”

10 comments:

Mitch Guthman said...

Hollande is a very lucky man. Sarkozy is probably so unpopular at this point that anybody the PS put up would almost certainly win without campaigning. A thesis Hollande seeks to prove by running without campaigning.

Credit where credit is due. Sarkozy is right about one thing: “Hollande is useless! He’s useless, do you understand?”

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't know about other subjects, but the NYT gets it maddeningly and perversely wrong when it reports about France.

Mélanie

Mitch Guthman said...

My knowledge of France is quite limited but from what I have seen, I think you are mostly right.

In this one instance, however, the Times regrettably seems to have gotten much more right than wrong.

(Obviously, I conclude this because they confirm my own opinion)

Anonymous said...

:)

Given the fact that, having to choose between Sarko and my neighbour's dog, I would unhesitatingly vote for the dog, I suppose the NYT doesn't confirm my own opinion!

And for more than five years, the hagiographic and error-ridden articles they kept publishing about NS have set my teeth on edge.

Mélanie

Mitch Guthman said...

Just to be clear: if I were French, I would be voting for the dog, too.

Anonymous said...

Let's agree that Hollande, apart from the great virtue of not being Sarkozy, is likeable, intelligent and apparently honest. After the presidential elections, there will be parliamentary ones. A sufficient number of real left MPs should help Hollande keep on the straight and narrow.

Mélanie

Anonymous said...

“Hollande is useless! He’s useless, do you understand?” ...
And that is the basis on which the French will choose their next president?
What an appalling disaster.

Anonymous said...

It's only Sarko who said Hollande is "nul" (I am not sure "useless" is the best translation). It doesn't mean much, if you consider his appalling history of publicly insulting political rivals, other heads of state, etc...

Mitch Guthman said...

@Mélanie,

Yes, I think we can agree on all of these things you mention. My real concern is that Sarkozy is fighting much harder to keep the Élysée than Hollande is to take it away from him. He seems to believe that the Élysée must fall to him simply because nobody wants to see Sarkozy continue as president and so, in the binary choice of the second round, he cannot lose. He may be right in his thinking but, in my mind, the complacency of sitting on a big lead is a recipe for disaster in both football and politics.

I imagine that your neighbor's would be campaigning hard in both rounds. I am sure that the dog would take nothing for granted. Always the dog would be seeking to define himself to the people of France before his opponent does it for him. He would talk to the people about how the PS alone can secure a good future for the country. He would fight hard and take nothing for granted. If Hollande blows this election, maybe we would've been better off with the dog.

Anonymous said...

At this point, the only way Hollande can lose is if huge number of people decide they don't need to bother showing up at the polls. Since 30% voters plan to do so (double the % from 2007) and since most French kids will be on vacation (=well off parents likely to be away that weekend and in any case could choose to use their Sunday to go fishing, to the beach, see grandma...) it's a real risk.