Thursday, November 14, 2013

SciencesPo under Mion ...

... seems to have survived the crisis.

How Is He Doing?

Mayor Koch of New York used to walk the streets of his city asking people, "How am I doin'?" I would counsel François Hollande against emulating this in the streets of Paris.

Although I don't make a habit of reporting on approval polls, which generally contain more noise than information, Hollande's trend has been so consistently downward, and the depth of his fall has been so profound, that there has to be information in the overall shape of the curve. A new poll has him at 15%. The latest quarter saw GDP shrink by 0.1%. Unemployment is up. The Bonnets Rouges are in the streets. Demonstrators booed the president on his way to the Arc de Triomphe to commemorate Armistice Day (to the dismay of many, who viewed this politicization of the memorial event as an affront to the Republic). And while Paul Krugman rightly notes that the downgrade of French bonds from AA+ to AA is not warranted, this is yet another woe to add to Hollande's Job-like burden. Eighteen months into his five-year term and he already seems as done as a Thanksgiving turkey.

I know: three years is a long time in politics. But first he has to get through the next several months.