Wednesday, October 20, 2010


President Sarkozy said yesterday that he isn't staring down the demonstrators "de gaïeté de coeur," but one suspects he isn't entirely displeased with the opportunity to hang tough. And then there's another benefit to taking a firm stand: it exposes the divisions in the opposition. It's no secret that the likely candidate of the Left, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, does not agree with the official Socialist Party position on the age of retirement. And now the left wing of the party is pressing Martine Aubry "not to cut the party off from the social movement." In other words, give them bread and circuses. Responsibility is for people in government. The opposition can say anything, unconstrained by the mundane worries of budgets, demographics, and capital markets. So far Aubry isn't taking the bait, but the primaries lie ahead, and the current rumbling on the PS left augurs a bitter free-for-all. Sarkozy no doubt couldn't be more pleased.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Strauss-Kahn likely candidate of the left? I don't think so. I would rate him a very unlikely candidate of the left.
1) He lacks a power base in the party. Aubry has a solid base and can count on Fabius' welll-drilled troops.
2) He isn't seen by grassroots party members, or those who would be likely to turn out in a primary as "un homme de gauche", but more as "l'homme du FMI". As Mitterrand's experience shows, "le parti se prend a gauche". That's how DSK failed in 2007.
3)If it looked like he was seriously preparing to run, multiple stories would surface about his obsessive fondness for the opposite sex, which would make the fuss over his little IMF escapade look like a vicarage tea party (not of the Republican kind).
4)His absence in Washington has enabled him to stay out of the gutter of daily Socialist politics, burnishing his halo. But the shine would wear off quickly if he returned to the rough-and-tumble of French sound-bite warfare.