Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bertrand's the Winner

Yesterday I described a putsch in the making at the UMP. I predicted that Christian Estrosi would replace Patrick Devedjian. I was wrong. That honor goes to Xavier Bertrand, and Devedjian will remain in place alongside him (though he can no doubt read the handwriting on the wall). Estrosi figures in the putsch but will get only a special "functional" post created expressly for him. The whole maneuver was orchestrated by Sarkozy, according to Le Figaro.

Incidentally, a glimpse of Bertrand in action can be found here. He appears on a France Culture program with French Politics contributor Éloi Laurent. Bertrand is a smooth talker (as befits a former insurance agent), intelligent, quick on his feet, and entirely unflappable, a politician in the buttoned-down, well-groomed mold of François Fillon, whom he might well replace should Sarkozy ever decide that he needs a new prime minister. His promotion to the post of party leader is evidence that his star is rising rapidly.

Le Monde adds that Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet will also become a deputy secretary general of the UMP and says that Sarko chose her as a "counterweight" to Bertrand's "appetite for media exposure"--an appetite that the president is well-placed to judge as a connoisseur. Fillon is also said to be "wary" of Bertrand, no doubt for the reason adumbrated above, and to have insisted on denying him an expansion of his ministry's powers to include responsibility for labor. Instead, Fillon's former spokesman Laurent Wauquiez was assigned to Christine Lagarde as a deputy for labor issues.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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