It hasn't been the most exciting day on the campaign trail; most of today's rhetoric consisted of fallout from Nicolas Sarkozy's announcement yesterday that he would create a minister of immigration and national identity.
If anything this week has been marked by the remarkable rise of UDF candidate Francois Bayrou. Although polls had showed him steadily marching forward, the real possibility that he might actually make it to the second round only became apparent with his jump above 20% in the polls. This was met by a frenzy of articles profiling the man, including a large one in the New York Times/International Herald Tribune. But for one reader in Chantilly, France, he is still "no miracle man":
But Bayrou is no miracle man: In order to succeed he will need to be able to solve the political and economic problems facing France.
France is ungovernable, as De Gaulle pointed out 50 years ago, and nothing has changed since then. Labor unions still strike on every occasion. A large majority of French people still expect a job for life and to be protected by generous social benefits. The result: high unemployment and high taxes as the cost of labor and social charges increase alarmingly.
If I were Bayrou, I would stick to breeding horses.
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