Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sigh ...

Bertrand Delanoë, stung by the perception that he is the "big loser" in the vote of Socialist militants, took the podium today and tried to magnify François Bayrou, that armyless captain, into a scourge of the Left on a par with Nicolas Sarkozy. The ploy was transparent: Ségolène Royal "pals around with" rightists, to borrow the Palinesque idiom, and is therefore unacceptable as a leader of the Left. The crowd, which had greeted the mayor of Paris with lukewarm applause (according to Le Figaro, not necessarily the best source for such an appreciation), responded to this stirring call to arms with thunderous applause, it seems. It is hard to fathom why the innocuous Bayrou inspires such fear and loathing. The Socialists are like teenagers in a perpetual identity crisis, afraid that if they associate with the wrong people they'll lose their bearings. They fail to notice that to define Left as not-Right leaves the Left empty of all content.

Bayrou must be pleased, though. This magical magnification of his meager figure makes him loom almost as large in the Socialist imagination as he does in his own.

3 comments:

Boz said...

Apparently only Royal has one the math to find they need the far left and then some...

bernard said...

The crowd in Reims is irrelevant to a large extent in reality. As party members have already voted on the motions, much is now up to the motion owners rather than up to the delegates. Further, the party leader will be selected by the party members a week from now, not by the delegates. Now, that is likely to be very, very lively. Florida 2000 anyone ?

Well, Delanoe has got a problem. See, in the Paris PS federation itself, he got a 38% score, which is good, but still is somewhat less than the 50% that would have him sleeping soundly.

As for Bayrou, I for one am not especially scared or impressed by him. You might think that I am being exceedingly mean, but I guarantee that someone with his voice will not ever make it to President. Plus, I have long noted that very few people seem to remain associated with him for any significant time.

The center electorate is in my view a quite different matter as it is an obvious political necessity for the PS to capture a significant part of this electorate in order to be successful. Perhaps, Royal ought to simply substitute center to Bayrou in her speeches and see how that goes (my guess, not too well, Bayrou is a simple decoy for something else).

This is very well understood by all those who are presently criticizing Royal as they have all on occasion used the center electorate to get their job.

This is likely true even of Hamon who started out as a Rocard supporter (ie right wing of the party) and now believes that he will do better as the left wing leader of the party (he must have checked out the compared careers of Guy Mollet and Rocard).

Boz said...

Sorry, missing a "d" in my post.