Monday, December 18, 2006

Hillary halts Royal visit

It appears that Socialist Segolene Royal's trip to the United States will be delayed again until late January or early February. Her camp says that it is because of fatigue from recent trips to the Mid-East and Portugal, but other reports place the blame on another presidential hopeful.
(...) in reality the decision appears to have been influenced by her failure to secure what would have been a symbolic meeting with Mrs Clinton, the Democrat senator whose ambition is to become America's first female president.

An unnamed advisor to Mrs Clinton told the newspaper Le Parisien that appearing next to a French Socialist who recently met an official of the Hizbollah movement in Lebanon could be construed as condoning the beliefs of the militant Shia group. The Democrats also have little in common with French Socialism, which supports massive state intervention, a huge civil service, and regularly lambasts "US world hegemony".
The Socialist party spokesman Julien Dray said that not enough people were available for Miss Royal's roadshow, and she did not intend to go to the US as a "tourist". However, Jacques Lang, her special advisor, confirmed that meetings had been scheduled with Kofi Annan and Ban ki-Moon, his successor as the United Nations Secretary General, as well as the Democrat presidential hopeful Barack Obama and the former US president Bill Clinton. Read more...

If true this is rather amusing. Hillary Clinton has been criticized as being to uptight and machine-like in her quest to win the White House, and not meeting with Royal because of her Mid-East trip is about as lame as you get. The meeting with Obama should be fun considering they both represent the same energy and modernity that the French and US crave. As for Bill Clinton, perhaps Hillary's cancellation is based on a bit of jealousy... Anyway, stay tuned.

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