Friday, May 25, 2012

Succession Crises

Both the UMP and the CGT are having difficulty settling on a new leader.

The UMP's predicament is of course no surprise. If I were casting a film, I probably wouldn't choose Copé for the role of party leader, because his ambition is so naked, raw, and obvious that he isn't quite believable in the part. Sarkozy was no less ambitious, surely, but he had the knack of projecting into his portrayal a little authentic concern with something other than his own success. His principal rival is the dark Iago of French politics, François Fillon, who is less enamored of the cameras but still a consummate player behind the scenes. And now, presenting himself as a fallback and proposing that the party leader should not be the standard bearer in 2017 (a position that must be driving Copé mad with rage) is the perennial Alain Juppé, a most capable fellow, once considered too arrogant to lead anything but rather humanized by a long traversée du désert in the Canadian wilderness following his conviction on corruption charges and declaration of ineligibility.

At the CGT, Bernard Thibault is leaving after what seems like an eternity at the helm, and he would like to choose his own successor. What's more, he wants her to be a woman, and this doesn't sit well with some of les gars. I'll be sorry to see him go. I've always enjoyed his haircut and blunt talk, although I harbor a sneaking suspicion that he was a little too susceptible to the flattery of the powerful to be a really effective union leader.


James C. Brown said...

Consider Copé as a modern-day Bossuet - political baron from Meaux, talented in oratory, powerful with friends in high places, but unloved and known more for his callousness and power-tripping than for noble works he may have done.

TexExile said...

If they are smart, they turn to Juppé for now and worry about 2017 later...