Thursday, December 2, 2010

C'mon

The DSK watch continues. The haurspices minutely examine the entrails. Their interpretations are contradictory and inconclusive. And one has to assume that that's just the way DSK likes it. Because, really, folks, it wouldn't be all that difficult to put up a more persuasive picture of an active candidacy if one really wanted to. This business of IMF-enforced neutrality is nonsense. The game isn't really that hard to play. You form a political action committee, or whatever the French equivalent might be. You put in charge someone known to be close to the prospective candidate. Of course the principal himself officially disavows any connection with the efforts made on his behalf, but the fiction is transparent. The spokesman parries the attacks and maneuvers of the rival candidates. Meanwhile, an organization is constructed, and private assurances are given to prospective affiliates. When the moment is right, the candidate resigns from his international post and enters the fray with an organization already in place, well-honed, and ready to roll.

So why isn't DSK doing this? Either he's not a terribly competent politician--a possibility I don't rule out--or he'd rather not take positions on the issues of the day, because as a nonaligned potential candidate he's likely to remain a lot more popular for a lot longer than as a declared candidate favoring one line over another. But this is a mug's game. This has been the problem of the Socialist Party for nearly a generation now. It is more comfortable with the vagueness of "opposition" than with the definiteness of commitment. Its poll numbers rise as the situation of the government worsens. But then when it comes time to stake out a position in the campaign, its platform seems hollow, because it hasn't really established an identity over the long term. Voters feel they're being sold a bill of goods by a flim-flam artist. Whatever else you can say about Sarkozy in 2007, you have to concede that he had successfully crafted an identity for himself. Like it or loathe it, voters had a sense of a man who was precommitted, who wouldn't simply blow in the wind. When it comes to DSK, the left of the left already knows that it doesn't like what it's likely to get, but the volatile voters in the center, who will decide the election, want definition that the Strauss-Kahnians, whoever they may be, have been loath to provide, lest those buoyant poll numbers start to tumble back to more realistic levels.

9 comments:

Kirk said...

I still think he doesn't want to run. He's now a part of the global old-boys' network, and he'll get a cushy job after he leaves the IMF with no trouble at all. That would be much better than being president of France, unless that's really his ambition. Given that he's gotten a taste of being in power in a situation where he doesn't get criticized much, he may just opt for the easy job rather than the hard one.

Unknown said...

You could well be right.

Anonymous said...

I've heard he wants to be president of the European Bank.
In any case, I'd agree with Kirk on this one.
And Art is quite right that it wouldn't be THAT difficult to set something up. DSK has got Fouks and EuroRSCG, a big ad group with considerable pull (including parts in polling institutes, BTW) so it shouldn't be all that hard for him. There's a "Club DSK" supposedly made of people on the ground canvassing for him but they had a public meeting yesterday in Sarcelles and there were all of 6 people so either the club's inept or DSK's popularity is not based on actual enthusiasm which bodes poorly in case of primaries.
Others wagered he had hoped for "primaires de plébiscite", meaning that all candidates would withdraw upon his announcement. Montebourg has made it clear he wouldn't (he hasn't worked for 2 years to organize primaries and then kill the process!) as for Royal, she's said she might and also that if DSK wants to stay at the IMF till 2012 then he can be her Prime Minister.
(that takes guts to state this without laughing, although the expected laugher really is a sign of something else as Aphatie, who doesn't think much of Royal and of the PS in general, points out.)
http://blog.rtl.fr/aphatie/20101201/les-lecons-du-titanic-01-12.html


I think the strauss-kahniens are getting nervous. What if they've waited for their "hidden imam" (seriously, that's how DSK is nicknamed) for all these years, all for naught?
MYOS

Anonymous said...

a DSK send-up:
Dsk once said "whoever led in the polls a year before the election has always lost it" ...
http://www.lepost.fr/article/2010/12/02/2326208_et-si-la-popularite-de-dsk-etait-une-hallucination-collective.html

FrédéricLN said...

Within the left, as soon as you are candidate to some power, you are a target. Some people will declare themselves candidates against you just "for the sake of democracy" and open heavy fire on you.

(Fully aware they will have to support you afterwards; but not conscious of the damage in non-militant people's minds).

Dominique Strauss-Kahn probably tried (or still tries) to become a target as late as possible.

Anonymous said...

Martine Aubry puzzles even her high-ranking supporters who sound exasperated and roll their eyes that she hadn't checked with Royal before her TV announcement ("should have prepared" her performance can't mean she hadn't read her notes ahead of time - she sounded perfectly articulate).
And now she's hiding. Apparently it's so cold in Lille no one can venture out for fear of being eaten by wandering polar bears (as per a mischievious chti friend).
"La télévision, ça se prépare", en conclut un très haut responsable du PS, interrogé par Europe 1.
http://www.europe1.fr/Politique/Martine-Aubry-va-sortir-de-son-silence-322842/

Anonymous said...

Martine Aubry as Leslie Nielsen
http://www.marianne2.fr/Y-a-t-il-une-premiere-secretaire-pour-sauver-le-PS_a200300.html

Anonymous said...

DSK fan club, BHL and co:
http://www.marianne2.fr/BHL-fete-la-Regle-du-jeu-et-se-prepare-pour-DSK_a200314.html

Anonymous said...

If the left that reads Marianne has its say, DSK it won't be:
http://www.marianne2.fr/Pourquoi-DSK-est-si-desire-mais-pas-par-les-Mariannautes_a200346.htm
However Cohn Bendit wants him, with this sentence "Do you want to be on the left or do you want to win?", meaning that DSK is more acceptable to him because he's more a centrist than Royal. Just the kind of appeal likely to damage Strauss Kahn...