Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Endorsement

Jacques Chirac, looking distinctly usé (to borrow an adjective from Lionel Jospin), said yesterday that he would vote for François Hollande for president, but only because Alain Juppé wasn't running. One might see this as one more fit of Chiraquian pique against Nicolas Sarkozy, whom Chirac mauls a bit in his recent book, or as a continuation of the Rocard-Juppé dialogue, in which the two whiz kids who never became president agree on nearly everything and can't find "a sheet of paper's difference" between them. So this, apparently, is what political conflict comes down to in the country that invented "left" and "right" as terms of political difference. La pensée unique with a vengeance: everybody agrees about everything, including the unsuitability of Sarkozy to sit in their rightful place. Bizarre. No wonder there's a populist backlash. Oh, but wait, April Fool, it was just de l'humor corrézien.


Robert said...

Interesting, but it's hardly the first time people are working against their "side," so to speak. Remember Chirac's rather peculiar "endorsement" of Giscard in '81 and Marchais all-out effort to have Mitterrand defeated that same year.

MYOS said...

Chirac's now saying it as a joke but the truth of it is that they're both transplanted local politicians to the very rural area of Correze, in friendly terms. In his memoirs Chirac is said to have very few good words for Sarkozy.
It's probably a good thing for him, since Chirac has the reputation of being a regular guy and they're both known as funny guys.
The downside is that it puts Hollande on the right of the PS. It's good for that elusive centrist voter but since Hollande has always been vocally against the center, in 2007 or in Reims, not sure it'll be enough, while it's not seen positively by the traditional left. If he's smart he'll be able to find a win-win play.