Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Foreign Policy Gap

Whoever follows in President Jacques Chirac's footsteps, he or she will undoubtably be a relative foreign policy novice. To account for the lack of experience and lack of attention on foreign policy in this campaign, The New York Times has a great overview of how Royal or Sarkozy might behave on the world stage, and their rough and tumble experiences so far.

Actually the most interesting part of the article was the comments that have come from US leaders. According to one unnamed senior White House official, Sarkozy's September 2006 visit to President Bush made quite the impression.

"What struck everybody is how strong a person he is and how strong a leader he could be. He was rather impressive, to tell you the truth."

Sarkozy even collected support from left-wing Senator Barack Obama, who said:

“I shouldn’t be predicting French elections, but I know that he has a good opportunity to lead France in the future.”

Forgive me for not accepting Obama's laissez-faire approach. Finally, (I know I'm ignoring the important stuff) the article sums up Sarkozy's and Royal's English language skills in comparison to Chirac's fluency.

The English-language skills of Ms. Royal, who was an au pair in Ireland in the summer of 1971, are rough. A short news clip of undetermined date and origin circulating on YouTube has her saying, in part, “Or with this government, investment in research has decreasing a lot, and that’s bad. I can see, as the presidency of the region, that we need money to invest in research and environment.”

As for Mr. Sarkozy’s English, it is more mind over matter. As he told New York City Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta during a visit last September: “I run. This morning. In Central Park. With T-shirt firefighters.”

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evan jones said...

Excuse me but Senator Barack Obama is not left-wing, so his support for Sarko entails no paradox.

Boz said...

I wasn't implying a paradox, although it had been reported that Obama was ready to meet Royal if she visited the US back in December. As for left-wing, he is a member of the Democratic party and usually considered to the left of Hillary Clinton, so I don't see how that doesn't make someone left wing. There's nothing negative implied, it's just a fact. I'll concede that he does present a moderate face on many issues, to his credit, although I don't think any Republican is willing to call him a centrist.

piktor said...

Boz, are you going to do a live report on the debate?

Boz said...

No sorry, I have to work late tonight. I will have a full debrief a few hours after, including reaction.


piktor said...

Boz, the yahoo site never worked and Segos site had an image that froze all the time so I stopped watching.

I guess millions of internet users were tuned around the world and probably nobdy saw anything. You could hear interrupted sound bites but it was frustrating.

Name: Alex Moronda said...

Just because there are very few "mainstream" left wingers in the US media does not make Barack Obama one. He is a centrist all the way. Hillary is not "to the right" of Obama. They are very similar politically speaking, with their differences of opinion on certain issues and major differences in style.

Boz said...

Piktor, sorry about the video connection. But now that it's over, you can download the whole thing.