Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sarko Studies Obama

Sarkozy is said to be studying the Obama campaign closely for hints on how to approach his re-election as well as the renovation of the UMP. I suppose that Le Monde is correct to observe that there are many technical trucs that can be picked up about how to organize Web sites and Internet fundraising, script and target commercials, sample voter sentiment, and so on. But the heart of any campaign is the candidate, and as candidates Obama and Sarkozy are quite different. Obama is cool, disciplined, unflappable; Sarkozy is excitable and pugnacious. Obama, despite his intellect, avoids wonkishness in debate, whereas Sarkozy, who knows all the dossiers, likes to display his command of details. Sarkozy drips with contempt for opponents and, sometimes, supporters. Obama, one suspects, may feel contempt but never lets it show through. Sarkozy may think of himself as an outsider in French politics and bear resentment against the establishment, while Obama, though in obvious ways even more of an outsider, also made his way through elite schools and has never posed as an anti-elitist. He nevertheless enjoys the robust support of minorities, the real outsiders in American society, whereas Sarkozy has made a career of provoking their opposition.

Let's see what lessons he learns.


Anonymous said...

History (usually) repeats itself as farce sayeth the wise man. This Obama campaign at this moment with this candidate is sui generis. Its been a while since Fortuna has been seized so thoroughly and so successfully.
Sarkozy will never be so much admired or adulated as Obama.

Chris P.

Unknown said...

I have no doubt that Sarkozy is studying Obama's campaign, just as I have no doubt that Royal is studying it as well etc. Any politician should.

That said and, you know, with the demise of social-democracy and the ideological revolution of Sarkozy which is sooo different from what the French right thought before and Devidjian who is so smart and antiglobalization forces and all that, it gets sooo complicated in Today's world which is so different from Yesterday's and Tomorrow's - it is the first time, I read it somewhere - do reassure me. Sarkozy is not planning to increase taxes on those making over €200 000? And he is not planning on giving tax breaks to the struggling middle class? No ? You had me there for a second, I was starting to think that social-democracy was dead and sooo passé.

Anonymous said...

It is difficult to believe that with Sarko's temperament he could emulate Obama. For an interesting take on the temperament issue in presidential elections in the US, I recommend this article on Slate: http://www.slate.com/id/2185720/