An American observer comments on French politics.
I actually found it disappointingly thin: "As President of the Republic, I won't commit any of the venial sins I've been accusing Mr. Sarkozy of committing ...," a lengthy list of rather petty accusations. Where was the vision, the understanding of the President's role, the program even? Hollande wins the tout sauf Sarkozy contest, but as a formula for governing this is meager stuff.
Hear Hear Brent and the problem is the eurocrisis remains top of the agenda. He will be end up being a Socialist in name only as the financial crisis consumes France and the rest of the eurozone. Then UMP-FN le Pen will win in 2017!
A "formula for governing" wouldn't impress me, because France, along with Europe generally, will have to react to a rapidly evolving situation. But a pledge not to appoint the head of the public TV network is not nothing. And I think that a rehearsal of Sarkozy's "venial sins" was an effective counter to Sarkozy's attempt to portray the PS as the party of partouzes et folies dépensières. Would I have preferred something more impressive? Certainly. But it was "good enough."
Apparently he improvised it on the spot. I doubted it, until I got to hear it again (because we've been hearing it again and again, "anaphore" is the word of the day) and in fact he begins with another form of sentence, he veers after 2 phrases and starts on his summation. It impressed lots of people because it sounded good to them. Perhaps also because Sarkozy got used to speaking French poorly and French people love it when people speak their language beautifully (they seem much more receptive to "beautiful sentences" even if they're empty or pointless.)Yesterday also saw an "innovation" in France: fact-checking.The first fact that came up for checking was the Bristol: a picture was produced to show that indeed Nicolas Sarkozy was au Bristol with Eric Woerth. Fact checking followed on everything, especially numbers (IMHO there was a whole hour filled entirely with numbers)http://owni.fr/2012/05/03/veritometre-debat-hollande-sarkozy/http://www.huffingtonpost.fr/2012/05/02/debat-hollande-sarkozy-fact-checking_n_1472556.html?ref=presidentielle-2012Overall the debate was impressive in my opinion. The journalists looked like referees in a tennis match :) but the two politicians showed they had technical and rhetorical skill. While American debates are more lively (with short, to-the-point answers), this debate was like an exercise in high-brow thinking and gravitas, perhaps a demonstration of présidentialité. Strangely for a sitting president, Sarkozy did not appear as the most "présidential" and that's why in my opinion he lost the debate.Myos
Excellent analysis by Arun:http://arunwithaview.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/hollande-sarkozy-debate/Myos
This, by a centrist:http://www.philippebilger.com/blog/2012/05/fran%C3%A7ois-hollande-pas-seulement-socialiste.htmlThis, by a PS sympathizer:http://zeredac.com/2012/05/03/hollande-large-vainqueur-sarkozy-proche-du-ko/An écologiste before the debatehttp://www.marcvasseur.info/index.php/2012/05/02/presidentielle-nicolas-sarkozy-elu-avec-502/An écologiste qui vote Hollandehttp://sarkofrance.blogspot.fr/2012/05/le-grand-debat-sarko-rate-son-oral.htmlFrom the righthttp://www.atlantico.fr/decryptage/debat-francois-hollande-nicolas-sarkozy-themes-abordes-concernent-france-pas-francais-yves-derai-348720.htmlThe main FN site (which I won't link) finds that the two fighers were equally unconvincing (50%), Sarkozy better (34%), Hollande better (16%). Perhaps close to Sunday's transfers?
http://www.jepense-jecris.fr/2012/05/soulage.htmlfor the agregate of words most often pronounced during the debate
Moi, PrésidentMoi, PrésidentMoi, PrésidentMoi, PrésidentMoi, PrésidentMoi, PrésidentMoi, PrésidentQuelle arrogance! Il serait très drôle de voir le futur de la France avec une bailleur à l'Elysée.
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