Monday, May 14, 2007

Good Night and Good Luck

I will by signing off from here. Thanks to all who have come here over the past half-year to follow the French election news, I've have a lot of fun and I hope you have too. This site will be up for the forseeable future if you have any pressing need to look back on the past few months' campaign. I hope you'll continue to follow the French news at my new site seen above, Politique, which will aim to do the same thing this blog has done for the election but for French politics in general. If you ever need to reach me send a message to

Sunday, May 13, 2007

New Home

If you're curious why I haven't updated recently, it's because I am currently getting the successor site, Politique, ready. I will soon be doing all my posting there in a few days.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Royal Hurry

Nicolas Sarkozy is working behind the scenes to put a government together, and still has several days until becoming France's next president, but that has not stopped Segolene Royal from beginning the 2012 presidential campaign.

Today Royal said that the Socialist primary campaign in late summer and fall of 2006 was a destructive process, and that "internal attacks" were seized upon by the right in the presidential campaign. To remedy this Royal suggested a much speeded up process of designating the Socialist candidate for 2012:

"It will be necessary to reform the calendar of designation (...) It's necessary that the candidate is designated much earlier, so that he is not exhausted in quarrels and internal conflicts."

And her timetable? "Quickly...after the legislative elections, as of the next congress." Any Socialist Party congress would be held in March 2008 or in the autumn. Nothing seems to be stopping her from positioning herself to be the 2012 candidate, although to have any chance of winning, she would likely have to break away from the hard-line socialists and far leftists that have restrained the party from moving closer towards a US/UK style mainstream left wing. With the fractures between herself and her own party this time around, she is also hoping that "Ensemble, tout devient possible."

Friday, May 11, 2007

Sarkozy & Blair, Royal & Clinton

Today President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy met UK Prime Minister Tony Blair in Paris, although Blair is himself stepping down at the end of June. After the meeting, Blair told reporters "I totally agree" when asked about Sarkozy's idea of a simplified EU treaty, a response to the "No" vote against the EU constitution in France. Sarkozy also used the occasion to praise Blair for his work as prime minister:

"Tony Blair profoundly modernized his country. He knew how to create majorities beyond his own political family to achieve important results."

This past week's vote has also brought another international political duo into the mix: Segolene Royal and Hillary Clinton. Early in the week Clinton operatives went on damage control, ensuring that no analogies are made between the two:

"Other than the fact that they are both women, they don't have much in common."

"Hillary Clinton offers a very different kind of choice than the French faced...(she) is well regarded as strong, smart and a leader. Her experience says she is ready to see the country through changes with a steady, substantive and sure hand."

However, this is not the first time Clinton has tried to distance herself from her French counterpart. In late last year it was reported that Segolene Royal had cancelled her US trip because Hillary Clinton refused to meet with her.

Royal to sit out

Socialist candidate Segolene Royal has announced today that she will not be a candidate in the upcoming legislative elections, saying it goes against her principles.

"Although the law allows it, the future is not of multiple political offices, and I apply myself to this non-plurality of which I had defended the principle during the presidential campaign."

She is currently the President of the Poitou-Charentes region. Even the question of being in multiple political offices at the same time is foreign to most American ears, although this is quite a common practice in France, where a national politician might then hold some other position back in his/her home district.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

French tell Sarkozy to enjoy

Newly elected Nicolas Sarkozy has taken heat for freely using the yacht of a billionaire friend off of Malta, but apparently the French don't seem to care. In a newly released Opinion Way poll, 58% of the French said that the trip was "not outrageous," more than the 53% that elected him president.

However, the numbers break down roughly on party and political lines. 95% of Sarkozy voters considered the trip normal, whereas 67% of Royal voters were shocked. But considering Royal's defeat, the left really needs a new strategy. Why not let Sarkozy enjoy his vacation...when it comes time for economic reform at home, he might conveniently leave vacation time alone.

A Bush welcomes Sarkozy

In a sign of possible things to come and something that is sure to ruffle the feathers of some French, today US President George Bush said he looks forward to working with his new French counterpart.

"I had met with him before when he came over here and found him to be a very engaging, energetic, smart, capable person. We will have our differences and we will have our agreements, and I'm looking forward to working with him."

Bush also mentioned that he had been three minutes late in the scheduled congratulations call, so "I'm so grateful that he took my phone call."