Monday, December 3, 2007

Royal Return

Ségolène Royal's book comes out tomorrow, but today's papers are already full of excerpts. I will leave it to others to summarize the juicy parts, which strike me as rather short on juice.

I did raise an eyebrow, however, when I read this image-refurbishing piece in Le Monde. Toward the bottom of the first page you'll find a brief discussion of conversations Royal has been having with various intellectuals. She's been talking to Philippe Aghion and Daniel Cohen about economics--smart choices. But it seems that she's also been talking to two people, neither known to me, described as sociologists. The first, Dominique Meda, fits the description. She studies work, social policy, women's issues, etc. The second, Hakim El Karoui, has a rather different profile. He used to write for Jean-Pierre Raffarin and is described by Wikipedia as an "essayist and banker." He was a member of the scientific committee of the Centre National de l'Histoire de l'Immigration, maît' de conf' at Sciences Po, and founder of the Club XXIe Siècle. He describes himself as "Chiraquien but not Sarkozyste." He supported Royal in the 2nd round of the presidential election (we're not told whom he voted for in the first round). Le Monde says that Royal is interested in his thoughts on the "dewesternization of the world." His uncle was prime minister of Tunisia from 1989 to 1999.

One would like to be a fly on the wall in his conversations with Royal.

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