May 3, 2007

The French Debate

Great stuff from Nidra Poller of PJM, on the much-hyped debate between Ségolène Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy. She was "pugnacious"...he was cool. Here's a bit....

Sarkozy’s entire campaign is based on a promise of accountability. He has fully developed his thinking on the longstanding problems of France. He has clearly defined a coherent program of proposed solutions. And he has pledged to stand by them, and be judged by his results. While Royal refers to her region, Sarkozy refers to Europe and the world. If Germany, England, Denmark, Ireland, and Spain can have full employment and healthy economies, there is no reason that France should be suffering from stagnation.

Ségolène Royal’s campaign is based on herself. In tonight’s debate, she could not use her charm. And her anger, for all the praise it might win from her diehard supporters, did not come across as righteous. Faced with Sarkozy’s concise thinking, her rambling arguments did not billow, her slogans—gagnant-gagnant, donnant-donnant—fell flat, and she didn’t sing her usual tunes with the same conviction she musters when standing in front of ten thousand cheering fans.

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After all the tough questions from unemployment to Iran’s nuclear ambitions had been hashed over, the moderators asked the debaters what they thought of each other. It might seem like a silly question. In fact it was quite revealing because Ségolène Royal could not and did not pour out a dose of the anti-Sarko hatred that inspires her voters. She could not say then and there, after viewers had watched them in action for over two hours, that he was such a danger to the nation that even people who didn’t like her or her politics should vote for her just to keep him from being president. Fans being fans, they probably won’t hold it against her.

This Guardian piece on Sarkozy betrays a sneering leftist contempt for the man...but I repeat myself.

Posted by dan at May 3, 2007 12:14 AM