Sunday, July 21, 2013

Du rififi chez l'UMP

Le Monde has an "insider" perspective on the UMP that is unusually candid. Copé tried to form a "club" of ex-Chiraquiens around him. Included were Bruno Le Maire, Valérie Pécresse, François Baroin, Luc Châtel, and of course Copé's Sancho Panza, Christian Jacob. But the group fell apart as ambitions clashed: Baroin and Le Maire over the nomination to replace Christine Lagarde as finance minister, Baroin and Copé over Copé's hiring of the extreme-righist Buisson as an advisor, Copé and Pécresse over Copé's increasingly naked presidential ambitions and her desertion to the Fillon camp, etc. etc. Some of the petites phrases are truly murderous, e.g. Pécresse on Copé:
"Je pense qu'il y a deux catégories de personnes pour Jean-François : celles qui comptent, qu'il faut affaiblir ; et celles qui ne comptent pas, qu'il faut câliner. A un certain moment, en politique, soit on s'essuie les pieds sur vous, soit vous existez. Au moins, maintenant, il se souvient de mon prénom."

Yet for all this maneuvering, the fact remains that a substantial majority of the UMP wants to see Sarkozy run again in 2017, so the ambitions of this whole lot of potential rivals hang on the decisions of various judges and courts in the numerous scandals in which Sarkozy has been caught up of late. Stay tuned.