Thursday, December 4, 2014

Contre mauvaise fortune, bon coeur

You have to hand it to the UMP. They know how to put a good face on things. Sarko is back, and the knives, if not buried, have been kept out of sight of the cameras. Sarkozy and Fillon were caught on camera, by carefully calculated chance, shaking hands and slapping backs. Juppé and Sarkozy sat side by side, the Bordeaux catcalls already gone if not forgotten. Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, hardly a friend of Sarko's droitisation strategy, has been named a VP of the party. Laurent Wauquiez is mentioned as a possible secretary general (sweet revenge against his frère ennemi Bruno Le Maire). Jean-Pierre Raffarin sounded the only sour note, when he announced that he supports the Juppé line--meaning the anti-Sarko line, the only reminder that the UMP remains as disunited as ever.

All this sweetness and light reminds me of nothing so much as the heady first days of the Sarkozy presidency back in 2007, when all the talk was about ouverture and about Sarkozy's supposed transmogrification from canny political infighter to wise statesman and president of tous les Français. We know how long that lasted.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Art, I think you're not in France - there's no sweetness here. Sarko is furious that he didn't get the score he wanted and blames Le Maire, in ways that are fairly public. Juppé was invited by Sarko to sit on an old guys' panel, and Juppé made fun of Sarko for this (after refusing). Le Maire is widely understood to be there to watch and make sure Sarko doesn't pull a fast one or try to corrupt the Primary process. There were backstabbing stories everywhere from Canard Enchainé to PureMedia to Le Figaro. Finally, there's an impression Sarko is weakened because his score really isnt that good for the UMP rank-and-file, considering that his support level is much lower in the general population of UMP likely voters...

Just curious: can one get Canard Enchainé in the US?

Art Goldhammer said...

No, you can't get it here or read it on line. Pity. Your comment just reinforces my point, however: that the handshakes and roundtable photos are all a facade.

Mary Campbell Gallagher, J.D., Ph.D. said...

Whatever its availability in Boston, the Canard, and other major French newspapers, were available until a couple of months ago at the kiosk at 86th and Second in Manhattan. On the web one can find the front page, for example, for December 3. http://lecanardenchaine.fr/?p=3859

Cheers,

Mary

FrédéricLN said...

@Art "handshakes and roundtable photos are all a facade", for sure, and it is the usual way to do, at least in France. That's why people like Mrs Kosciusko-Morizet, or Mr Le Maire until recently, can stick to Mr Sarkozy's group, even if they wouldn't handle it this way for themselves.