Friday, October 14, 2016

A President Shouldn't Say That!

"A president shouldn't say that." Was ever a book more accurately titled? François Hollande seems to have driven the final nail into his own coffin with the release of this volume of "confessions" to 2 journalists from Le Monde. What was he thinking?

The Socialist Party is not happy. « Imaginez l’enterrement de votre grand-mère alors qu’elle est toujours vivante, et vous aurez une idée du climat général » at meetings of the party group supposed to be planning the president's re-election campaign.

Not long ago I asked a member of the government what the climate was like inside the cabinet. "What climate?" he said. The implication was that there is no longer much communication inside the government, let alone solidarity. It's every man for himself as the ship sinks.

Why would Hollande descend to discussing his presidency and private life with journalists as though he were sharing a coffee at the Café de Commerce? Perhaps it was a botched exercise in pipolisation, an effort to appear once again le président normal he promised to be in reaction against the hyperpresidency of Sarkozy.

If so, it was a miscalculation. What his few remaining supporters need now is a rationale to re-elect this all-too-normal president. He needs to show some grasp of the reasons for his failure to persuade the nation that a coherent strategy underlies the apparent directionlessness of his presidency. Instead, he has provided proof that he spent far more time schmoozing with reporters than with his own ministers.

I think he's finished.