Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sarkozy and Royal take to airwaves

Both Segolene Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy have made the rounds on French TV tonight, addressing the delicate issue of Francois Bayrou and the UDF.

Royal appeared on the France 2 show "A vous de juger", again asking for a debate with Bayrou, and showing remarkable respect for a man who just absolutely criticized her economic plans during a press conference earlier today.

He is a man of the right but he has moved. Over the course of this campaign he has understood a certain number of things and values comprised in my presidential pact. I don't aim to seduce, I aim to gather. There are good ideas to take everywhere. Opening my hand to Mr. Bayrou seems to me a responsible step, respectful to the voters and useful for France."

Nicolas Sarkozy appeared on TF1, refusing the proposition of a debate by Bayrou, but saying that he is ready for dialogue.

"The debate of the second round, it is Mrs. Royal and Mr. Sarkozy. Here are what they have, said the French. In a soccer competition, there is a final. The final is between number 1 and number 2. Number 3, he does another thing but he is not in the final.

For the remainder, I remain a man of dialogue, listening and openness. If Mr. Bayrou wishes that we work, that we reflect, that I listen to, I will readily do it in a form which remains to be determined. For my part I am very open."

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What exactly is the purpose of a debate with François Bayrou? Why not focus on the more stringent issues, i.e., platform of Nicolas Sarkozy?

If Royal truly believes that it is essential that she should debate those that she defeated in the first round in order to present her views, then why not debate with all the those who lost?

I do agree that Bayrou represents 18% or so of the so-called right wing and centrist French votes and that's a few million people whom she should convince to vote for her in the runoff. But don't you think that In the same vein, she should also debate Le Pen? After all, Le Pen had 11% of the mass votes to his name that is if she is truly being honest about wanting to discuss issues.

Why be prejudiced? Royal is clearly on an opportunistic mode here - she's not being honest her refusal to be fair across the board to those whose votes did not go her way, i.e., to "open her hand" to the far right, smacks not only of opportunism, downright dishonesty, but also disrespect for the rest of millions of French voters.

With that in mind, it is difficult to throw ino ne's trust in her direction. Her reaction is a knee-jerk reaction, no real substance, just bumbling along...

Madame Ségolène Royal must be brought down from her (socialist) pedestal. She cannot walk the talk and therefore, NOT fit to become president of France.

Name: Alex Moronda said...

the point is to marginalize Sarkozy. it's rather clever. Bayrou and Royal are now the "future" candidates and Sarkozy is yesterday's news. They are also betting he'll get in a huff over it.

Truthfully Royal has nothing to lose. She blunts some of the fears that a "Socialist" would cause too much upheavel were she in office by showing a very honest willingness to work with other points of view and to openly discuss ideas.

Jacques said...

@hillblogger: Royal don't have to debate with the other leftist candidates : she already has their support. She can debate with François Bayrou as there are lots of common views on the way a republic should be ruled and social aspects.

About Le Pen : it's a complete misunderstanding of the french politics. Sarkozy won the first round because he has defended ideas about immigration and security of Le Pen (Chirac has never done that). It is out of question for Royal to debate with Le Pen...

François Bayrou agreed on a debate tomorrow morning :

Boz said...

Yes, Royal has nothing to gain from a debate with Le Pen because she will never convince any of his voters to vote for her. As seen from the polls, she needs Bayrou's votes more than Sarkozy, so she is going to do everything possible to appear on his side, and by breaking all precedent with a second debate between Royal and Bayrou, it will give her a chance to appear in front of Bayrou's voters without Sarkozy present. I can't tell you if it will work, but underdogs need to act not react, so she has to take the initiative on this one.


enigmatikmike said...

I guess that by letting Sarko marginalise Bayrou, Segolene is succeeding in winning many UDF votes.

Boz said...

That's her campaign's reasoning. But if this really is a debate, there will be some friction, so she will have to master the fine art of disagreeing without appearing to do so, at least gently enough not to turn off voters.