Thursday, March 25, 2010

Villepin on the March

It's a neat trick to lead a political movement while hanging from a butcher's hook, but Dominique de Villepin is giving it the old college try--yet again. Today he held a press conference to announce the launching of a movement on June 19 (l'Appel du 18 juin + 1, en quelque sorte). Why he didn't just launch the movement today and get it over with ... well, I suppose these things take planning -- balloons, dancing girls, musicians, trained bears -- and then, too, it might look unseemly to seize the opportunity of the supreme leader's supreme setback to throw acid in his face. But DdV couldn't resist a little Schadenfreude:

"J'ai le sentiment qu'au lendemain des élections, ce n'est pas un changement de politique qui a été choisi alors qu'il s'impose", a regretté l'ancien chef du gouvernement. "Le débat sur l'identité nationale a montré qu'on pouvait jouer avec tout, on ne joue pas avec la nation", a estimé M. Villepin, qui a parlé de "politique de réformes éparpillées". Il a également dénoncé le non-remplacement d'un fonctionnaire sur deux comme une politique "pas efficace"

Ouf!  Whose "politique de réformes éparpillées" could he have had in mind, I wonder? And the announcement comes on the very day when Carla Bruni expressed the wish that she and her hubby be allowed to live out "the time left to them" in relative peace, hoping that he decides to call it quits after one term. (She has no doubt taken note of Chantal Jouanno's split with Sarkozy -- on the matter of the carbon tax, s'entend. What did you think I meant? I'm not one of those "irresponsible journalists" to whom Bruni refers in the interview, who take their cues from bloggers named Mickey or Superman.) Villepin will no doubt derive encouragement from this. He'll have to, because he's unlikely to be welcomed with open arms by what he refers to as his "famille politique," where Jean-François Copé has organized a meeting for next Monday of potential frondeurs, now emboldened to dictate their terms to the enfeebled king in his Elysian redoubt. The triangulaire on the Right could well prove as diverting as the free-for-all on the Left. Meanwhile, I suppose Claude Guéant is running the country, along with the socialo-ecologists who now have a lock on everything this side of Strasbourg. (h/t TexExile)


MYOS said...

He was very good - especially if you compare his speech to Sarkozy's. Sarkozy said "I heard you" and proved he hadn't (or didn't want to). Villepin started where people came from and offered his answers.

The "should we really cut nurses, firefighters, teachers, police officers?" line would resonate with the left, too. His very good French contrasted with Sarkozy's. His ability to look dignified is a definite plus with traditional conservative voters who are rattled by Sarkozy's taste for 'bling'.
Overall, a good first step, made better by the contrast.

Good point about: who's running the country?

satchmo said...

Having just watched the entire thing, I agree that he did an extremely strong, impressive job with the address and the Q&A. He manages to articulate an intelligent conservative position that is not merely reactionary, and did a good job of articulating a reasoned opposition to the forces of intolerance and social division that Sarko has been attempting to exploit.

By the implicit contrast, it seems to me that he makes Sarko look like the neoliberal vulgarian that he is.

CJWilly said...

I had seen Villepin on the Guignols as a sort of over-the-top romantic liable to fall into lapses of poetry and drama. Then I saw his press conference. They have him to a "T"!