Thursday, November 14, 2013

How Is He Doing?

Mayor Koch of New York used to walk the streets of his city asking people, "How am I doin'?" I would counsel François Hollande against emulating this in the streets of Paris.

Although I don't make a habit of reporting on approval polls, which generally contain more noise than information, Hollande's trend has been so consistently downward, and the depth of his fall has been so profound, that there has to be information in the overall shape of the curve. A new poll has him at 15%. The latest quarter saw GDP shrink by 0.1%. Unemployment is up. The Bonnets Rouges are in the streets. Demonstrators booed the president on his way to the Arc de Triomphe to commemorate Armistice Day (to the dismay of many, who viewed this politicization of the memorial event as an affront to the Republic). And while Paul Krugman rightly notes that the downgrade of French bonds from AA+ to AA is not warranted, this is yet another woe to add to Hollande's Job-like burden. Eighteen months into his five-year term and he already seems as done as a Thanksgiving turkey.

I know: three years is a long time in politics. But first he has to get through the next several months.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

If Hollande had to emulate this in the streets of any city in France, I would counsel him doing it in Paris more than in any other French city, actually...

Anonymous said...

Such low numbers are striking for an industrialized country, no? Usually partisanship and the distribution of indifferent/less effected and engaged/effected people in any given population ensure that it's really hard for approval numbers to drop below 20 or 30%, unless -- and even then! -- there's some debacle of a war or a salacious, debilitating political scandal. France isn't doing well, but it isn't in free-fall politically or socially, or experiencing truly exceptional chaos.

James Brown said...

The Fates of politics are wily. 2 months ago, the GOP was at its lowest in public esteem due to the unmerited gov't shutdown & risk of a self-imposed default. Today, it is Obama & the Democrats due to the ACA roll-out fluster-cluck.
Hollande deserves everything that is coming his way, and then some. But I would be surprized that this same state of affairs continues onwards for another 3 to 4 years. Eventually, circumstance will come in his favor and his adversaries will overplay their hands.

Bampot said...

On the coverage of Armistice day and before the heckling started, the television commentator almost seemed to be reminding people that the president was actually someone called Hollande when his motorcade came into sight.

Passerby said...

Unless a fanatic shoots him, Hollande is here to stay until the end. I can't imagine a second that he could leave the office early. However if the economy doesn't turn around this will be his last term.

The ones that should be more worried are the people around the president. Not only, it seems that Ayrault & his government will never be able to complete the 5 years. And it's on the news that all the socialists representatives asked to meet Hollande to complain about the technocrats in his team.
Whether the President will fire anyone yet is to be seen, but pressure is mounting.