I wrote back in November 2005 that a “French connection” friend of mine told me to keep my eye on French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy – that Sarko was the ‘man to watch’ whenever the French elections rolled around. Looks like my source was right on, because Sarko is the favorite to win this Sunday’s election in France.
With just two days left before the election, Socialist candidate SÃ©golÃ¨ne Royal is continuing to pull desperation moves in an attempt to steal the momentum away from Sarkozy, who has polled ahead of her in over 100 polls taken since the threw their respective hats into the ring. After Wednesday’s debate between the bitter rivals, the lastest polls show him moving further ahead of her, opening up a lead of nine points in one poll. Royal’s response:
After the publication of the polls today, Royal turned up her rhetoric, saying on RTL radio that his candidacy is “dangerous” and that this election could “trigger violence and brutality across the country.” Sarkozy, speaking on Europe 1 radio, called the comments “outrageous.”
“She’s trying to frighten the voters in the middle,” said Robert Harneis, a Royal biographer.
Here’s an expanded version of those comments:
“I think that choosing Nicolas Sarkozy would be a dangerous choice. I do not want France to shift towards a system of brutality,” Royal told RTL radio.
Royal warned of potential violence in France’s ethnically mixed suburbs if her rival won and she said he was unable to enter some areas for fear of sparking violence. The suburbs were hit by riots in 2005, the worst in 40 years.
Sarkozy has portrayed himself as a tough crime-buster but Royal said street violence had risen recently
“When a candidate has so much nerve to tell lies and counter-truths and cannot even go everywhere in the country, then yes, I think this candidature is a risk.”
In an interview with Le Parisien daily, Royal said Sarkozy was imitating the techniques of U.S. President George W. Bush, who is reviled by many French.
“(Sarkozy) carries the same neo-conservative ideology. He doesn’t hesitate to envisage dismantling public services, when we badly need nurses and teachers.”
You know she’s getting desperate when she starts comparing him to the President, because, as Private Pigg reminds us, in France they view Bush as another Hitler. Of course, some of them view Sarko as Hitler, too – even when they, of all people, should know better.
I’m very interested in the outcome of this election, because the US is fast losing allies in Europe. Steadfast ally Tony Blair is on his way out, and his Labour party suffered big time losses in the elections in the UK this week. Three years ago, the US lost an important ally, Jose Maria Aznar of Spain to the Socialist Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in the Spanish elections. As I’ve written before, Sarkozy doesn’t hate Bush (Royal does), even though he has said he believes the war in Iraq was a mistake. So at a time that the US is losing a valuable ally in Blair, it’d sure be nice to pick up one in Sarko. I’m not saying he’d be remotely close to Blair in terms of siding with the US on the majority of the major issues the US deals with on an international level, but at least he wouldn’t bring to the table the overt hostility Jacques Chirac did in his dealings with the President, nor – on a diplomatic level – would he automatically discount what the Bush administration had to say because he doesn’t share hatred that Chirac has for Bush. When France was burning in late 2005, and others in the Chirac government were not calling the riots riots but instead ‘social unrest’, Sarkozy called the rioters “scum“, which in turn drew calls for his resignation. So you have a guy who is definitely not afraid to go against the grain.
Yes, it’s true that Sarko worked in Chirac’s government, but they had a falling out in 1995 when Sarko backed someone other than Chirac for president, and the relationship hasn’t gotten any better between the two of them.
Besides, the Socialist Sego has already started to get chummy with a chap we’re all very familiar with:
Yep, that’s DNC Chair Howie “I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for” Dean, an apparent admirer of the Socialist Sego – and Socialists in general, if these pictures (more here) of him speaking at the annual PES-Congress of European Socialists Parties convention last December are any indication.
Royal was supposed to have met La Clinton on a visit she was going to make to the US late last year, but the visit was postponed. The ‘official’ reason Royal gave was fatigue, but off the record Clinton sources told the UK Telegraph that Clinton didn’t want to meet with her because she was worried that meeting with a French Socialist who sympathized with Hezbollah wouldn’t be good for her image. The Telegraph also reported that Royal was lining up meetings with two other Democrats, though: Barack Obama …. and Bill Clinton (here’s a tip, Sego: don’t meet with America’s most well-known adulterer alone).
Can you imagine if Royal got elected this Sunday and then next year a Democrat was elected as president here in the US? That’s a France/US ‘alliance’ I would not want to see.