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Actually, I don't know more details. I'm not sure they're settled. I suspect they're waiting to gain time and to see the landscape shaping on their left:
  • The far left has decided to go solo (Besancenot, Laguiller, and Buffet separately), which means they are politically dead because after 2002 no-one will vote for them on 1st round.
  • Which means Buffet (PC) could still possibly be dissuaded to run by including PC in a left platform
  •  and then there is the unknown of the greens, who can't make up their mind for their candidate: either Voynet (which the PS could try to buy into a platform), or Cochet (who is pretty much a Pol-pot style agrarian revolutionary peaknik to me - call me a techno-fascist)


Pierre
by Pierre on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 11:27:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Getting Buffet on-side will be a big thing for the first round and is worth doing for that, though given the way the polls look for Ségolène (a CSA-Marianne I remember seeing a while back) I'm not sure it's that important given she's polling near 30% in first round intentions and only Sarko is anywhere near (I don't think even Le Pen passes the 10% bar anymore).

This could all change though if (or more when) Fabius decides he doesn't care that the militants choose Royal, he's creating his own campaign. Have to see how that plays though if you get him and another or two doing this then the left side will need to be pulled back together, and Buffet would give this some credibility.

But while we're talking about the possiliblty of fracture on the left, I think it also quite possible a large fracture on the right may well open up. Sarko may be the obvious standard bearer for them, but it remains to be seen whether large segments of the French right are ready for Alain Madelin, who is who I thought I was hearing when Sarko was speaking today. Bayrou may do better than we expect, and not only Bayrou. A perfect storm like in '02 but on the right? Probably not, but I suspect the fracturing on that side may be more than we're thinking today.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 12:25:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He polls at 15% in the confidential RG studies. He was at 8% at that same period in 2001 in similar polls.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 12:58:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking since Sarko is stealing so much of his aging rhetorical thunder that he might not end up holding his audience of forains and associated as well as he had in the past.

Christ, is anyone not racaille?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 01:03:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do you think that he is stealing anything?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 01:36:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not so much what he says (he sounds like Alain Madelin to me today for instance) but how he says it that adopts the same tone which is attractive to the same demographic with which Le Pen typically does well.

I know the genre fairly well, some of my wife's family are forains and it's a core demo, imho similar to a few others (indépendants of all sorts, really) and esp in PACA it's a powerful demographic, explaining why the Front has done very well there for so long.

And Sarko plays well with these. Put Le Pen's rhetorical tone on Madelin's economic policies and there's a demographic which will be voting for Sarko instead of Le Pen.

Just a hunch.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 02:09:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what Sarkozy aiming for, in any case, but I'm skeptical.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 02:25:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair enough.

I'm actually thinking your other scenario about Bayrou will come to pass, especially if Sarkozy overdoes it. I'm skeptical too of Sarko's appeal when is so explicit about the neo-liberal talk as was much of what he was quoted as saying in Le Monde today. Not so sure that appeals to as many traditional RPR-style supporters as one might think - after all, Madelin polls what, 3%, tops? However, it does appeal to a certain core Le Pen supporter. Certainly not all, but many.

I'm thinking Bayrou could surprise by mopping up some of those turned off by this neo-liberal rhetoric. I'm suspecting there will be more than a few.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 02:55:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
more clearly, for some one who knows a bit about French politics and society, but doesn't have such a sophisticated grasp.

Also, what is Sarko's appeal? I don't understand why a country that was 70% against DeVillepin's measures would vote for him.

by Ben P (wbp@u.washington.edu) on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 02:29:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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