Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rama Yade

While putting in my treadmill time this morning, I watched Rama Yade on TV5Monde's Internationales, a political chat program. As always, she recited her lines ably without giving much sense of the political analysis or imagination that underlies her advocacy, now of Borloo's Parti Radical. This, she claims, is the "social, humanist, ecological current" of the Right, yet she refuses to be drawn into overt criticism or even identification of the other "currents" of right-wing politics in France. To be sure, she did say at one point that "la droite populaire" is the source of opposition to gay marriage on the right. She herself supports gay marriage but feels that others must be brought along slowly, that time must be allowed to do its work. As for Borloo's ultimate goal--does he really expect to win, or is his aim to ensure Sarkozy's defeat, or is he angling for the prime ministership in the next Sarkozy regime--she managed to avoid answering despite repeated attempts to push her off her standard refrain: "I am in politics to be for, not to be against."

Yade's remarkable popularity is of course out of all proportion to her achievements or her political acumen, but she's still in her apprenticeship. She laughed off suggestions that she might harbor presidential ambitions of her own, but the question will continue to be raised, if only because she is in some ways the ideal candidate for a televisual age: she looks good, speaks well, and is completely unflappable, while managing to project vivacity and authenticity even as she dispenses standard bromides in a well-polished langue de bois. I expect her to be around for a long time to come.

Decriminalization of Marijuana Trafficking

Bernard Girard considers the developing debate in France over the decriminalization of marijuana trafficking and its possible role in the presidential campaign.