Monday, July 23, 2007

Hesitation Valls

Manuel Valls appears to have learned from Sarkozy the usefulness of keeping one's name constantly in the news. Libé seems willing to be his enabler in this regard. The article adds nothing of note to what already came out of the mini-meeting of party renovators he organized last weekend, but it does contain a rather sharp jab at the 35-hour week (if I were Jon Stewart, I'd be digging up some tapes of Valls from back when he was Jospin's press secretary to run against his current statements). Valls is afraid that too many of his compatriots view the measure as a limitation on their ability "to work more in order to earn more." Catchy slogan, that. Might come in handy in a presidential campaign.

P.S. The title of this post is a Hollandesque pun. Having criticized Hollande for this kind of humor, for its cruelty and injustice, I should apologize to M. Valls, whom I rather like as a prospective party renovator and potential candidate. (For the benefit of French speakers, the pun is on the English "hesitation waltz." M. Valls' hesitation, it seems to me, is about how far to go in repudiating a party line with which he has been intimately associated for more than a decade. I, for one, hope he goes farther.)

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