Thursday, May 8, 2008


Say it ain't so: Bertrand Delanoë has put up his pre-Congress Web site, and if anything it's even more vapid than Ségolène Royal's. "Let us take the full measure of the work to be done ..." "The first principle is to cast a lucid eye on the difficulties ..." "The second principle is to advocate political solutions that truly respond to the diagnosis we come up with ..." Etc. etc.

It's enough to make you long for a little American-style pandering. How about a gasoline tax rebate? At least it's a concrete proposal.

Discours de la méthode florentine

A delicious story in Bakchich today. It seems that Anne Pingeot, Mitterrand's mistress, played a highly influential role in the Grand Louvre project, which has bequeathed to Paris among other things I. M. Pei's Grande Pyramide. I recall one memorable dinner at a posh apartment in the faubourg Saint-Germain during which a table of Mitterrand revilers, including one illustrious art historian who shall remain nameless, vied to outdo one another with contempt for la Grande Pyramide, while I, who have always found the thing delightful and who passed in this company for a wild-eyed gauchiste, sat in pained silence. But none of us knew that Pingeot, who was also a museum conservator, had a hand in the inception. Bakchich also reports that it was she who presided over the inauguration of the Musée d'Orsay, an event to which Mitterrand as president, Giscard as originator of the project, and Chirac as prime minister were all invited. Wives were not welcome, however, and Bernadette Chirac was turned away at the door. Apparently this unusual arrangement was devised to ensure that Mme Mitterrand would not be placed in the position of having to shake Mme Pingeot's hand. Such delicacy of feeling. To be sure, the two women were not spared the ordeal of having to mourn side by side at Mitterrand's graveside.