Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Coquille géniale!


Ségo Will Go For It

Well, scratch my speculations of the past few days. Ségolène Royal will herself be a candidate for the leadership of the PS. La lutte finale is here, and it's do or die for le courant Tout Sauf Ségo. Too bad: I think we'd have had better sound bites from a Dray or a Peillon, though neither warms le petit écran quite as nicely as Ségo does.

The real question, though, is how Gérard Collomb, the mayor of Lyon and champion of municipal socialism, feels about the decision. It was his support that really carried the day for Ségo, and he told her at the outset that he preferred a leader who was not also a candidate for the presidency. That was why she initially put her quest for the leadership in "le frigidaire." Will the thaw leave the proponents of a less centralized leadership feeling betrayed? The marriage of municipal socialism with a presidentializer of the party was always an awkward fit. If la présidente de Poitou-Charentes becomes une cumularde occupying rue Solférino as well, there could be grumbling in the ranks.

EU Resumes Talks with Russians

The EU has resumed talks with Russia about a strategic partnership. The discussions were halted in August, when hostilities erupted between Russia and Georgia. The resumption of the talks so soon after the war, and with Russian fulfillment of all the conditions of the truce still not certain according to Bernard Kouchner, reinforces the point I made the other day: Russia and Europe need each other too much to jeopardize the relationship. That's why Russia refrained from toppling Saakashvili, and that's why Europe has now chosen to set aside its displeasure with Russia's muscular response to Georgia's rash provocation.