Thursday, December 4, 2014

Contre mauvaise fortune, bon coeur

You have to hand it to the UMP. They know how to put a good face on things. Sarko is back, and the knives, if not buried, have been kept out of sight of the cameras. Sarkozy and Fillon were caught on camera, by carefully calculated chance, shaking hands and slapping backs. Juppé and Sarkozy sat side by side, the Bordeaux catcalls already gone if not forgotten. Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, hardly a friend of Sarko's droitisation strategy, has been named a VP of the party. Laurent Wauquiez is mentioned as a possible secretary general (sweet revenge against his frère ennemi Bruno Le Maire). Jean-Pierre Raffarin sounded the only sour note, when he announced that he supports the Juppé line--meaning the anti-Sarko line, the only reminder that the UMP remains as disunited as ever.

All this sweetness and light reminds me of nothing so much as the heady first days of the Sarkozy presidency back in 2007, when all the talk was about ouverture and about Sarkozy's supposed transmogrification from canny political infighter to wise statesman and president of tous les Français. We know how long that lasted.