Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Aubry Out

Martine Aubry will not join the new government. She makes it pretty clear that she's miffed:
"Nous avons discuté de cela lundi avec François Hollande. Il m'a dit qu'il avait fait le choix de Jean-Marc Ayrault. Nous sommes convenus que, dans cette configuration, ma présence au gouvernement n'aurait pas de sens."
She describes the choice of Ayrault as both "a political choice" and one that is perfectly comprehensible given Ayrault's closeness to Hollande. So what are we supposed to infer from this? That the "political choice" of the party's candidate is such that the party's leader cannot envision herself as part of his government? Or that Martine is a prima donna who, having already served as no. 2 in Jospin's government, as she reminds the interviewer, will not settle for anything less than no. 1? Neither interpretation is very flattering to Aubry.

So Hollande will have to build his own base of support without any help from the leader of his party. He seems to have chosen his course for accomplishing that goal: he will demonstrate his modesty, eschew the monarchical trappings of the presidency, and reach out to ordinary people. The symbolism is good for now: the press is commenting abundantly on the modesty, sobriety, and seriousness of the new president and contrasting these qualities with the grandiosity, pugnacity, and erratic behavior of his predecessor. But a general needs to be able to keep his troops in line, and Aubry on day two already seems to have chosen her own drummer and headed off in her own direction.


Durando said...

Dinner party with a quartet of Mélenchonites (far from my usual company!) revealed a surprising predilection for Aubry as PM. I say surprising, as were dining in a room giving on to the hotel de ville of Nantes. It seems they prized Aubry's combativeness as the worry is that Hollande will not go "far enough" whatever that might mean.

Anonymous said...

Even less flattering for Aubry is this

This is lower than petty. I think it's time for her to move on, to get a new life for herself after her term in Lille expires in '14.


bernard said...

well this particular piece of news surprised me because I had figured that it was important to get her out of the party leadership, which she could not keep if she were a minister. In the end, it may be an indication that Hollande is truly now a different person: no more Mr nice guy, apparently. I noticed as well Aubry's gesture against Hollande would-be legislative candidates. This will actually not go down well with the party rank and file: it is worse than the fight between Jospin and Fabius in the eighties, this is the leader of the party trying, and likely succeeding to, annoy the first socialist president for close to 30 years. The rank and file are going to sit back and disaprove, while it is never a good idea to cross the president. I'd say, Aubry is actually busy digging her own grave here.

Anonymous said...

The Rank and file will not appreciate having campaigned for a candidate (the "législatives" are already in full swing) and hearing he's/she's been replaced by someone picked in Paris. Even if the earlier candidate had been picked in Paris, too (as about 90 candidates were, with a vote in December and a general hoopla to get them officially endorsed and supported by the base.)
Therefore there will be dissidents, those who are supported by the local rank and file against the "parachuté", and the PS may lose a couple seats in it.
Bernard and Arun are totally right: it's downright petty. It's also worrisome as infighting seems to resume like for their previous "congrès".

Anonymous said...

New governement announced! 16 women out of 33 ministers, but also a good representation of all of France's diversity. I'm especially pleased with Christiane Taubira. It'll provide Choosing Kader Arif for Veterans is cheeky (veterans!) And Victorin Lurel for Overseas French Territories is excellent and so well-deserved. :)
Fabius is #2, no doubt he asked for it. #3 is Peillon for Education, but there'll be someone in charge of "achievement", meaning closing the gap that places France behind the US and the UK for school equality. Montebourg's job is "redressement industriel" or somesuch, the title is new and certainly created for him. Najat Vallaud Belkacem is now the spokesperson for the Republic. Nice.
Overall I'm pleased with the government, because I really thought it might end up with mostly men and a handful of women here and there for minor posts.

Anonymous said...

* Taubira: she'll provide balance with Valls, since they're on opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to justice/security.