Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Le Hollandisme: Hollande l'assume

Austerity and competitiveness: these are the banners that Hollande has chosen to fly. He promised to reduce government expenditures by €60 billion (3% of GDP) over the next five years, and he praised the Gallois report.

The staging of the press conference seemed to take a leaf from the White House playbook: Hollande, like Obama and Bush before him, arrived at the podium by way of a long, plushly carpeted corridor. He stood, alone, before several hundred journalists, emphasizing the singularity of his position. His tone was mild, but his words were firm, if at times nebulous.

It was an exercise in power projection as a media consultant might conceive it, but to me it was not a role for which Hollande was cut out. Does it matter? Probably less than a media consultant might think.


Mitch Guthman said...

I like François Hollande. I always felt him to be a decent and trustworthy human being. I always thought he would be an exemplary president because of these qualities. There are qualities that I thought came through in the video clip accompanying the Le Mode article. Nevertheless, this was the speech and press conference of Nicolas Sarkozy, who would have delivered it far better and with much more passion. And why not, since these are also the solutions of Sarkozy.

Also, for what it’s worth, I thought the setting did help a lot but he still doesn’t seem to belong there, which I agree is a problem.

Cincinna said...

  I have to disagree with you, Mitch.
  Hollande, IMO, is far from the exemplary character you describe. His political treachery, which undermined the candidacy of Ségolène Royal, and his inability to prevent his personal life, now a long running soap opera and joke in France, has revealed a weak, mediocre man with little capacity for decision or leadership.
  That us why the French turned against him after just a few months, unheard of in France. His approval has plunged to the lowest level if any president, and polls show that people are wishing they could have a do-over and get Sarko back. Indeed, 64% of UMP want Sarko to come back into political life and run against Hollande in 2017.
  Hollande can play with all the fanfare and appurtenances of la République, but he always looks unfit for the role; a small, petty little man. A man in search of an identity is a pathetic thing to behold. 

Anonymous said...

Dominique Seux's commentary on France Inter this morning got it right, IMO


PF said...

Sounds like Hollande plans to go along with Merkel until the late 2013 elections, watch things deteriorate, and then either passively hope that they're marginally better by the time of his re-election campaign or actively work to make them better starting post-German election.

PF said...

Hopefully European-wide anti-austerity protests will ramp up and force everyone's hand.