Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Goasguen: Sarkozy's Errors "Humanly Comprehensible"

Claude Goasguen, UMP deputy for the 16th arrd't of Paris, makes a good point: Sarkozy was rather adroit in explaining certain errors of judgment as the result of the crisis in his personal life. He had just fulfilled his life's dream, to be president of France, but his marriage was falling apart, so he accepted Bolloré's yacht in the hope of patching things up without considering the consequences for his "image."
J'ajoute que j'ai été très séduit par la pudeur avec laquelle Nicolas Sarkozy a évoqué la concomitance entre son élection, aboutissement d'une vie, et la destruction simultanée de sa famille. Cela explique beaucoup de choses, humainement compréhensibles, même si elles sont politiquement incorrectes comme le voyage sur le yacht du « petit breton » Bolloré.
It's a story line that may carry weight with some voters. Goasguen also nicks Fabius while he's at it:
La prestation de Fabius a montré toute la différence qu'il y a entre un apparatchik socialiste et quelqu'un qui est au fait de l'actualité internationale en crise.
It's true that Fabius seemed to sleepwalk through the first few minutes of his time, but as I said earlier, he doesn't like Hollande and has a complicated history with Sarkozy, compounded by envy of the fact that of two young politicians who dreamed constantly of becoming president, only one managed to get the job done.


Anonymous said...

It sounded unpresidential. If you're the president and your wife is leaving, you do the job for which you've been elected. And dumping all of his "mistakes" on Cécilia seems disingenuous at best.

Anonymous said...

Mitch Guthman said...

I have to say that Anonymous has a good point and saying everything was the ex-wife’s fault isn’t just disingenuous, it’s also ungallant (to say the least).

But there is something I don’t understand about this debate: Why there was a surrogate for Hollande instead of the genuine article?

And why would Hollande send a surrogate who dislikes him, doesn’t think think he’s remotely qualified to be president and has a long, well documented history of expressing those sentiments publicly?

I do hope this isn’t the start of some backsliding by the Hollande campaign. They looked like they really started to hit their stride in the last few weeks.

Cincinna said...

I think Sarko's comments about the breakup of his marriage, and his attempts to deal with it, humanize him on a level that most people can relate to.
  The Socialists are extremely limited as to whom they can put forward to plead Hollande's case. 
  Since Hollande himself will try to avoid debating Sarko at all cost, and this debate with the much smarter and experienced Fabius shows exactly why, they had to send a surrogate. 
  Fabius was once the brilliant, great young hope of the PS when he became PM at age  
38, unheard of in France. Everyone expected him to someday be President. The quintessential "gauche caviar", he was, unfairly, IMO, forever damned in l'affaire du sang contaminé.
 He is the only vieux éléphant left standing. Who could they send in to debate Sarko? Royal? Sarko wiped the floor with her in debates before, Jack Lang, tainted by scandal, DSK? Martine Aubrey? Jospin?
  No one likes Hollande, no one thinks he is qualified for the job. He was never anyone's first choice, as Sarko quite brilliantly reminded DSK supporter Fabius.
  They each think they should have been chosen to take on Sarko.

bernard said...

The explanation for Fabius rather than Hollande is so much simpler. If you have a Sarkozy-Hollande debate prior to the first round, then each of them must debate every other candidate. So don't worry, you all, you will get one or more Hollande - Sarkozy debate in between the first round and the second round, but not before.

Further this was NOT a Sarkozy-fabius debate. Sarkozy solo interviewed for two good hours, followed by Fabius appearing. That is not quite the same thing. Hollande would of course not stoop down and appear during the third hour as a sort of sidekick to the current mainstream conservative candidate. Some commentators on this blog seem to think our next President is dumb. He is far from dumb. In fact, in politics, it is a very dumb thing to think your main opponent is dumb. That is Sarkozy's mistake, not Hollande's.

Robert said...

@Cincinna: Interesting. I haven't lived in France since the early 80s, but I do get this bitter, resentful vibe from Fabius on the few occasions I get to see him on TV. That goes back to that famous "petit roquet" TV debate in '86, in which Chirac told him to stop yapping like a little junkyard dog -- i.e., even before the tainted blood business.

About Hollande: My father was telling me lately the Socialists are almost certainly headed for a a historic defeat in 2017 if they win this time around, since Hollande won't be able to satisfy his supporters' expectations.

I don't know that I'd declare him doomed so early. But I still get the sense France is a conservative country. Hollande will face considerable risks, taking over on rejection of Sarkozy rather than on a real mandate.

Cincinna said...

@Robert I agree on your points. 
 I think your father has a point, related to the significant point that Sarko was making comparing how France has fared in this economic crisis compared to countries led by Socialists. Governments like Great Britain, Spain, etc. 
  I, too, had forgotten '86 Chirac/ Fabius debate. 
  It is a constant in politics that it is extremely difficult to win an election on the "I'm not the other guy" platform, without a program for real change.
  There has never been a country run by Socialists that has prospered and grown. Socialism is a retrograde idea that has failed every single time it has been tried.  
 I also view France as a traditional, conservative, center right country. The image we are presented, promoted by the left-slanted Paris based media does not represent the rest of France. A BoBo candidate like Hollande lives in elitist bubble of privilege and self indulgence.  Much like how in the US the values of East and West Coast elites dominate the media, but do not represent the rest of the country which they disparagingly refer to as "flyover country"
  Hollande isn't dumb, but he is not a creative thinker or leader- he is just a technocrat, trained to be a bureaucrat, not a leader. He is nowhere as politically gifted, intellectually agile, or creative as Sarko, nor Fabius. 

Cincinnati said...

  I don't think Sarko for one second underestimates his opponent, be it Fabius or Hollande. He is meticulous in his preparation, knowledge of detail, and has thirty years of on the ground legal and political experience of dealing with the opposition on every level of government- up close and personal. 
 Hollande isn't dumb, he is just lacks real world, real life experience in government or the private sector. And it shows. He is a bureaucrat, technocrat, the second or third choice if a party that represents out of date ideas, with no plan for the future except the usual Socialist solutions of tax and spend. It has never worked, and now with economic crisis, all these governments are running out if money. 
  Hollande's claim to fame is just that he isn't Sarkozy. That may be enough to win in this election , but it won't pull France back from the brink of economic collapse and put France on a path to growth and prosperity.  
Hollande wouldn't "stoop down" to debating le Président de la République? Thank you for illustrating my point. Hollande is a party hack, not a great debater. He is afraid to debate Sarko- Sarko would debate him or anyone else anytime. Hollande's handlers fear debate. They are the ones underestimating their opponent.