Monday, November 19, 2012

Copé Wins, Alas

The new leader of the UMP is the old leader, J.-F. Copé, who won by a mere 89 votes out of nearly 180,000 cast. In other words, the party is deeply divided. Copé's election renders more likely a flirtation or worse with the Front National. The ultimate prize is the presidential nomination in 2017, of course, and much can happen between now and then.


Anonymous said...

Yes, alas. If Copé pushes his frontiste/Buissoniste rhetoric, which is likely, it could blow apart the UMP. I don't see how social Gaullists like Fillon, NKM, and the ex-Chiraquiens will put up with this. But I doubt there will be any kind of alliance with the FN. That will definitely split the UMP.


Cincinna said...

You are all getting ahead of yourselves. There will be no alliance between a Copé run UMP and the nei-fascist statist MLP.
Copé is the more proactive, dynamic leader. He is much smarter than Fillon, and a lot less boring and dull.
IMO, Copé is but a place-holder, a prelude to a Sarko re-run in 2017. In the latest IFOP poll, 64% of UMP members want Sarko run again in 2017, and this is just a manifestation of that wish.
With Hollande at an all time low 35% approval, and dropping by the week, Copé is the smart choice for UMP.
All the factions in UMP and the old RPR will fall in line behind a candidate they believe can win, first in the local elections in 2014, then in 2017.

Mitch Guthman said...

@ Cincinna,

If the past is prelude, there probably won't be an “alliance” but I have very little doubt that Copé intends to continue to cynically poach in the waters of the Front National. By the way, Cincinna, that is not only my memory and interpretation of Copé’s “racism anti-Blancs” campaign and his push back on the proposal about the Jewish kippa (just to name his two best known outreach efforts to the extreme right; it is Marine Le Pen’s interpretation also. I don’t often agree with MLP but I thinks when she’s right, she’s right.

I read the signs and portents as saying that « apéritif saucisson-vin rouge » is going to be an increasingly frequent theme for UMP events.

I also agree with Arun’s analysis. If Copé continues to push issues and positions designed to appeal to FV voters and holds firm against what I suspect will be push-back from the elements Arun mentions, then I think there’s a real possibility of the UMP blowing up. Look at what happened when Sarkozy tried a far milder version of this ploy in the lead up to the election.

I have no idea what’s going on with François Bayrou (who seem have completely vanished from French politics) but it’s important to remember that it’s not as if the Gaullist and Chirac’s people are trapped in the UMP. They can go where so many others of their political stripe have gone: The MoDems. And if Bayrou is still in this game, he should be courting them with every bit of energy he’s got left. I think one misstep by Copé could be enough to split the UMP.

On the other hand, Cincinna, I think you right that Sarkozy probably will be the UMP’s candidate. Of course, the question is whether Copé understand that he is Medvedev and Sarkozy is Putin. But regardless, I don’t see Copé building himself a power base sufficient to get Sarkozy from taking the nomination. As things stand now, Sarkozy is a shoe in for a return to the Élysée Palace.

Massilian said...

The surprise is not that Copé won, it is the tiny margin... Fillon is an old horse, a tired, boring man with a fragile health in the eyes of the UMP "militants". Copé crucified him as the "Hollande de droite", and that was the end of Fillon. Add to that the fact that he isn't that sexy as a candidate for the Mairie de Paris either. 6 kids, not a bobo... not much fun or glam for the Ville Lumière. Copé is a good shower room coach for the young UMP militants team who want to "en découdre" (Résistance ! Copé and Mélenchon use the same word to galvanize their troops)and show the P.S. and F.N. militants that they are no sissies. Yes, indeed Copé will be a hitch for 2/3 of the UMP sympathisants... but Dr Borloo and nurse Rama Yade will soothe the itch. And Borloo will fall in the arms of the UMP whenever they whistle. Sarkozy back in 2017 ? I doubt. What will Sarko do during the coming 4,5 years ? He will make money, socialize and have fun with business lawyers and millionnaires. There will be no humble delegation to go get him in Marrakech-les-2-mosquées and beg him to come back and save France ! I do believe the carottes of Sarko are cooked. I also doubt that Copé will appear as the best presidential candidate (d'Union...) in 2017. He should have had an appointment with Martine Aubry a long time ago...

bernard said...

this is fun. 89 votes or is it 98 votes is a fun result in favor of the used car salesman. Incidentally, for those who were admirative of him some months ago, n'est-ce-pas Art?, his famous pain au chocolat remark is even more interesting when one notes that children do not go to school during the summer months when this was said to have happened. In other words, this anecdote was "apocryphe" and Cope is thus well characterised as the guy who thought this would be a good story to tell. Welcome to the lowest common leader. He's got something in common with the teaparty and I quite like that something.

Mitch Guthman said...

Or possibly not. I only gave the articles a quick glance but it looks as though yesterday's grumblings about irregularities is giving way to today's demand for a recount and an investigation.