Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Normal Presidency Ends, Cat Fight Begins

Just when you thought things couldn't get any more normal, Valérie Trierweiler (allegedly) tweets support to Olivier Falorni, the dissident Socialist who may defeat Ségolène Royal in Poitou-Charente.

I think the press was getting a bit bored with normality and endless Socialist victories. So now we have something to replace Mélenchon vs. Le Pen.

Mais, mon dieu, ça manque de classe. Hitherto sans faute, the Hollande presidency is now in danger of becoming a laughingstock.

25 comments:

Meshplate said...

Do you think it for real and not a case of Twitter account hacking? I must say I suspect the latter; it's too good (or stupid) to be true.

Anonymous said...

it feels like watching World Wrestling Entertainment Divas Championship on cable tv....
Tweeting Val vs Royal Sego.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the French media will handle this responsibly without hysteria and/or as a jumping off point to ask that everyone not indulge in misogynist stereotypes.

brent said...

If she were a minister her head would be on the block by now. Is a première dame all that different? If she chooses to call the question--and apparently she does--FH will have to choose--hélas--between being President of the Republic or Valerie's boyfriend.

Anonymous said...

Art, tu exagères en disant laughingstock mais ça fait désordre au sommet de l'Etat quand même...

Arun

Robert said...

@Meshplate: No Twitter hacking, apparently. Le Figaro reports Trierweiler confirmed the accuracy of her tweet to AFP.

http://elections.lefigaro.fr/presidentielle-2012/2012/06/12/01039-20120612ARTFIG00447-le-soutien-fracassant-de-trierweiler-au-rival-de-royal.php

Anonymous said...

It is not in danger. It is becoming a laughingstock. Sad but real.

Cincinna said...

Dynasty on the Seine, what a disgrace for France. This could definitely have implications for Sunday's election. 
  It's definitely true. Here in English from International Business Daily:

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/351372/20120612/france-socialists-election-royal-hollande-trierweiler.htm

I know, it’s France, but this is ridiculous, even for them.

That’s what you get, when you elect BoBo François Hollande who ditched the mother of his four children for the ambitious, pushy, indiscreet Valerie, and installed her in the Presidential Palace as “Official Mistress”. Taking France backward to the intrigues of l'Ancien Régime. A very dangerous liaison for the dignity of France. 

Get out the popcorn, this is going to be the laughing stock of France, Europe, America, the entire word. 
All the more reprehensible in this time of great crisis and instability. 

Anonymous said...

Get a grip Cincinna, really.

Anonymous said...

Trierweiller is friends with Glavany, who also wants the same position of "président de l'assemblée". She's very jealous of Royal, too. Apparently in a quite exagerated, unhealthy way. Perhaps also she's one of these PS people who think it's okay to reserve constituencies to women in order to increase women's representation, just not theirs, someone else's, and she thus supports Falorni's right to run in a constituency reserved for female candidates, along with his ridiculous "I was born here" platform.
This tweet is causing major embarassment to the PS and to Hollande. People tend to find it tacky, undignified, unworthy of a "first lady". Someone kept repeating "their poor children, why didn't she think of their children?"
Trierweiller can't recant because she texted Falorni ahead of time and he talked about it, so she couldn't even say her account was hacked.
C Dans l'air today followed Aubry, Duflot and Royal in La Rochelle today and at some point a person handed Duflot a piece of paper, who passed it on to Royal. Literally in one second you see Royal's face totally decompose and look haunted.

Mitch Guthman said...

This isn’t a good situation. Still, what’s done is done. Hopefully, Royal will win the runoff but certain things clearly need to be settled for the future because I don’t think that either Hollande or the PS can afford to have a loose cannon rolling around the Élysée Palace with her own agenda but using Hollande’s position as her power base. For whom does she speak?

It isn’t just that this is creating a soap opera with what is evidently Trierweiler’s relentless rivalry with Ségolène Royal. Royal is supposedly slated to be a minister in Hollande’s new government, something which presumably won’t happen if she is defeated in the runoff. So the question must be asked: Who selects the ministers for this government and does Trierweiler now have an informal veto power? Is Trierweiler’s support for Falorni against Hollande’s wishes or is it the manifestation of his true desire to be rid of Aubry and also not have Royal in his government?

I don’t know how this can or will be resolved but if Trierweiler is really speaking for herself, she is nearly as great a danger to Hollande as anything the UMP can throw at him.

Mitch Guthman said...

@ Cincinna,

Your memory is either very poor or highly selective. Do the names Carla Bruni and Rachida Dati really mean nothing to you?

How could you possibly have forgotten this gem: “Miss Dati, 43, and now a single mother, was at one time rumoured to be having an affair with Mr Sarkozy before he met Miss Bruni. Shortly after their marriage, Miss Bruni is said to have pointed out the presidential bedroom to Miss Dati and told her: 'You'd have loved to have slept in there, wouldn't you?'”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1162977/Shall-bury-le-hatchet-French-lady-Carla-Bruni-Rachida-Dati-kiss-make-year-rivalry-Sarko.html#ixzz1xcQ0I8cS

Anonymous said...

Trierweiler's head of staff indicated the tweet was not a fake but was opposite to the president's own position.

the NYT is on it:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/13/world/europe/twitter-endorsement-from-frances-first-lady-causes-a-stir.html

Anonymous said...

I'm Myos, aka anonymous 5:39, and here's a link to C dans l'air
http://www.france5.fr/c-dans-l-air/politique-interieure/batailles-de-femmes-dans-la-campagne-36331

Here's a link to Slate:
http://www.slate.fr/story/57627/valerie-trierweiler-faute-francois-hollande-segolene-royal-tweet
and to Nouvel Obs:
http://leplus.nouvelobs.com/contribution/569489-tweet-de-valerie-trierweiler-hollande-doit-il-enfin-clarifier-le-role-de-sa-compagne.html


Someone beat me to the NYT's article. Pretty good article by Erlanger, especially because it was written in such a short time.

Cincinna said...

@Mitch
No comparison.
Whatever her previous history, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, as the wife of the President, conducted herself with utmost dignity and discretion and never interfered in politics or matters of state, except to support her husband's reelection.

Mitch Guthman said...

@anonymous 5:58,

Ah! Well, it’s no wonder then that my Paris Match subscription is so expensive if they supply Valérie Trierweiler with not only a head of staff but, presumably, also a staff for that person to be the head of.

Cincinna said...

@Myos
The NYT has the story, as does Drudge, and it was the lead story on Journal de 20 Heures this evening.
This is huge, and almost unprecedented. Except for Danielle Mitterrand's support of Fidel Castro, denying he was a dictator who imprisoned dissidents, the President's entourage does not express their opinions in public.
The case of First Mistress, or First Girlfriend, Valerie, is far more complicated. Revealing a totally out if touch Hollande who just elected has already lost control of the dialogue and the news cycle.

The Socialists have committed the cardinal sin of French politics, allowing their personal life to be brought into political life.

The day of the usual defense of "c'est la vie
privée" is officially over. The people-ization of French politics has officially begun. It is open season on Hollande and his ménage.

France is in terrible crisis, fiscally, socially, even though the Socialists will not even allow the word "crise" to pass their lips. People are suffering, frustrated, afraid, and exasperated. The last thing this new government needs is frivolous backbiting and scandal.

Mitch Guthman said...

@Cincinna,

Well, if you put it that way, then, you are right that apart from the very public cat-fight with her hated rival for Sarko’s bed, Carla Bruni was the very model of a presidential spouse. In all seriousness, you are right that she never interfered in politics or matters of state which is, indeed, what I believe to be the crux of the problem in this business of Trierweiler’s interference in the election (and, indirectly, in Hollande’s freedom to shape his government as he sees fit if, indeed, he wants Royal to be a part of it).

[With the obvious caveat that I’m assuming that Trierweiler was off the reservation here. If it turns out that she was acting with Hollande’s blessing, then it’s a different but probably equally as serious problem]

Cincinna said...

@Mitch
I thought of that, too, but Hollande tweeter his full support for Royal two hours before Valerie's tweet.

Aside from the fact that Twitter will be the ruin of us all, it is impossible to "untweet" if you will. If Hollande did indeed do this as subterfuge to undermine his former paramour, he us even more of a dolt than I thought.

Cincinna said...

This really was the tweet heard round the world.
It has gone viral and global, the number one news story in Framce, and many other countries.
I'm wondering what the impact will be on Sunday's elections.
Hollande evidently wanted Segolène as a Minister in his cabinet. But if she loses because of this Valerie treachery, she cannot be in the government.
Any ideas of if and how this will affect Sunday's vote?

Mitch Guthman said...

@Cincinna,

I seriously doubt whether Valérie Trierweiler’s tweeting is going to move anybody to vote for Olivier Falorni (except that it might further energize the UMP in their support of him).

The more interesting question is how Falorni would be received in Paris if he were to defeat Royal. Hollande, Aubry and Royal might be the “old guard” but they are still people who matter very much in the PS. What doth it profit a man if he gains an election victory but makes powerful enemies and destroys his whole future in the process?

Massilian said...

I believe Hollande will be very lonely soon. He has no choice. Either V.T. understands she has to give up on politics and journalism right now (but can she ?) or she will have to pack and go. Tough decision. I think she won't stoop. It's not just a vaudeville. It is worse than that. It is not that she is puzzled and can't find her position, it is that she doesn't really understand François's position.

Robert said...

@Mitch: From "Le Figaro"

"Si Olivier Falorni était élu dimanche prochain, il se verrait toutefois fermer les portes du groupe PS à l'Assemblée."

Which looks increasingly likely. The same newspaper also has Falorni winning with 58%.

Meshplate said...

Has anyone considered the more Machiavellian hypothesis I heard floated today that this is a way for FH to settle accounts with SR, get VT to appear to be acting as a sole, loose cannon?

The argument against this is perhaps that SR and FH have children together and that FH would never risk his children turning against him.

Cincinna said...

@Meshplate
Mitch brought up that hypotheses yesterday, and I thought of it as well when the tweet went out.
That is the problem for any government trying to stay on message allowing itself to be diverted from its mission and caught up in a web of vicious gossip and intrigue.
Hollande may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but he us not that petty or stupid. He has no accounts to settle with Royal; for all her sanctimonious pretentiousness and pomposity, she has been incredibly loyal to Hollande who ditched her fir another woman, and did little to support her candidacy in 2007.
But " revenge is a dish best served cold" so who knows. This is a huge mess and destruction, and humiliation for all when the Prime Minister has to give an interview on French Radio saying that " Miss Trierweiler must keep to her place."