Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Après Disneyland, Rungis

The Sarko show is back. No one will admit it, but people had begun to miss it. It was like a TV sitcom: sort of cheesy, but good for a laugh when you were tired at the end of the day. The last few months have been like a summer of reruns and second-rate replacements. But today the president got up early to go marketing at Rungis and brought Carla with him. Then he went for breakfast at RTL so that la France qui se lève tôt could listen to his table talk as they drove to work. He demonstrated the requisite concern this time around with le pouvoir d'achat. He would ask Brussels for permission to reduce the VAT on petroleum products--something for the fishermen, farmers, truckers, commuters, etc.--and on CDs and DVDs--something for the kids. There would be no austerity, because austerity doesn't work: others "more brilliant" than he had tried it and failed. He mentioned Barre, Delors, Bérégovoy--prime ministers all. Subtext: prime ministers focused on the bottom line may appear to be models of probity, but reviving the animal spirits of the Keynesian entrepreneur requires a more openhanded, Micawberesque assurance that something will turn up.

It was a change from Disneyland and Luxor. In recent days the president has visited factories, markets, provincial town halls. He's campaigning again, greeting the sunrise, jutting his jaw, letting folks know that their lives will be better tomorrow. He's getting his groove back. Campaigning, after all, is what he does best.


Anonymous said...

"Campaigning, after all, is what he does best."

Did you see, this passing shadow? Jacques Chirac, et oui.
Campaigning was also Chirac's forte. Will Sarkozy end up like that? I really would not like to think that way, because (all political animosity aside) there was something different from the very start with Sarkozy. But the feeling remains that France's current president could as well satisfy himself with endless campaigning.

David in Setouchi said...

Yeah, I really missed the Sarko show. After all, this is the only interesting thing about this guy?

Louis, when you say "there was something different from the very start" what "very start" do you mean exactly?
The very very start when he betrayed Pasqua to become mayor of Neuilly?
Or the very start when he became nationally famous when playing hero in front of the cameras with the human bomb incident?
Unless you mean the very start of his national political carrier, when he betrayed Chirac?
Or is it the very start of him being a prominent figure of the RPR when he miserably failed to lead a list in the European election?
Unless it's the very start of his takeover of the Elysée when he became minister of Interior and starting to use Goebbels-like method to brainwash the French people into believing that violence was everywhere in France, and that he was actually doing something else but talk (funny how nobody ever really looked at his "bilan" as Minister, maybe that's because he hid it so well).
Or maybe you just meant the very start of his presidency on Boloré's yacht and then giving a huge tax refund to the richest people in France when even the middle class is having more and more trouble finishing the month...?
No, there never was anything interesting about this man, except a lesson about how a vile and inefficient man can reach presidency (even that, other men in other countries did it before him)