Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Republican Primary

I mean the French Republican primary, of course. L'Express has published a poll showing Sarkozy overtaking Juppé for the first time. OK, it's probably just polling noise, but Juppé's absurdly large lead has been questioned for some time. AJ may always have been "first in his class" and "the best of us," but Sarko is a political animal of some cunning and seems to rejoice in his new role as first apostle of the "Christian" Republic. With Marine Le Pen still keeping her powder dry, it is just possible that Sarko has made some converts among the heathen, especially those who find Le Pen's laïcité and tolerance of gay rights a tad gauchiste for a latter-day Joan of Arc. Juppé may also be losing votes to Bruno Le Maire, whose technocratic and intellectual credentials are almost as impressive as Juppé's but who can also chant the identitarian lullabyes that seem to appeal more to voters on the right than governmental competence. So the contest on the right may be closer than many people think.