Tuesday, December 19, 2006

France pushes America away

The French have spoken and America is their victim. According to a recent poll, 75% of the French want the next French president to have distant relations with the United States, including almost a third who would like very distant relations. Among the 25% semi-sympathetic French, only 3% want very close relations. This is somewhat understandable considering the US debacle in Iraq, although it is ironic considering Sarkozy is unabashedly pro-American and Royal is much more of a foreign policy maverick than her socialist predecessors.

In terms of specific foreign policy issues, 32% of the French wish to see foreign aid be given top priority, followed by 28% who want France to focus on driving forward the EU.

Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, unlike his American counterpart, got a boost in today's poll. 44% of the French believe he is the most presidential, compared to a measly 29% for Segolene Royal. If Royal has an Achilles heel, it is that Sarkozy more naturally fits the role of president than she. How she deals with this will be interesting to see.

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