Sunday, September 25, 2011

Central Moment

Bernard Girard is right: this is Borloo's moment. But will he seize it? With the Right crumbling under the combined assaults of Marine Le Pen and le juge van Ruymbeke, now is the time. But Borloo has always been the most laid-back of politicians: "fire in the belly" is not his style.

What about other centrists? Bayrou? Morin? The former has been on the stump often enough, but he doesn't seem to be able to close the deal. I don't know why. To be sure, his 16% in the first round of 2007 was swelled by legions of "anybody but Sarkozy" voters, who may have had no special affinity for Bayrou and who may have ceased to care quite so much about finding a non-Socialist alternative to a UMP presidency. By contrast, Morin has gone out of his way to minimize the importance of the unfolding affairs, as if explicitly disavowing any ambition for the presidency.

So, France's next "centrist" president is likely to be François Hollande. Dominique Strauss-Kahn must be regretting his faute morale more than ever. This election would have been his to lose.


Anonymous said...

HIstorical moment: The French Senate, designed to stay solidly on the side of conservatives, has been "taken over" by the Left! (None of them knife-wielding revolutionaries and, if images are representative, rather old, balding men in suits.)
Nevertheless, since it was supposed to never happen, since it was designed to never happen, it's a very bad sign for Sarkozy.
Art, if you're able to explain how it was "designed" to never happen I'm interested - they keep repeating this on TV but I don't see how you can design an institution with a guaranteed electoral result, in a democracy.
François Hollande and Martine Aubry hurried to meet with their respective supporters among the newly elected. Ségolène Royal was in Bordeaux and congratulated the new senators. Arnaud Montebourg was on BFM but I missed part of his interview. Raffarin was trying to say it hadn't really happened and anyway some people on the left could still vote for the current Senate Speaker (although I can't see why they'd so such a thing).
France2 was beneath everything by spending barely 2mn on this, stating no one had the results yet (they'd been discussed for a while on BFM and iTélé) and asking Raffarin "do you like Johnny Halliday?" (or somesuch) as their first question.

bernard said...

Whenever I hear of a central (centrist) moment, I tend to chuckle. It reminds me of Lecanuet's (guess his nickname) central moment, of Barre's central moment, not to mention "l'andouille de Vire" and others. And Borloo, apart from a certain resemblance in facial physiognomy and shade, is certainly no Barre. I would assume he'll stay on a (well-deserved?) sabbatical.