Friday, February 23, 2007

Segolene Shakeup

As promised, Segolene Royal has shaken up her campaign team with the creation of a 20 person "strategic counsel", which will be used to shore up Socialist party support. Among its members are Laurent Fabius and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Royal's two "elephant" challengers in the Socialist primary.

In the opinion of one Australian paper:

The change was not so much a policy overhaul as a recognition that the "participative democracy" championed by the Socialist candidate had demolished party discipline.

In addition, the Socialist Party headquarters will become the center of the campaign, shifting power away from Royal's own campaign headquarters. To her credit, Royal is rebuilding step by step, and understands that if she is to beat Sarkozy in the second round, she first must secure her base of traditional Socialists and appear a competent contender. However, she doesn't have much time. Sarkozy, who has successfully galvanized his party, is already moving towards the center to gather as many centrist votes as possible, as evidenced by his recent economic speech calling for state intervention. Although Royal is starting off well, she will risk alienating those crucial center votes if she spends all her remaining time pacifying the left wing.

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