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She's a woman, and women have to be twice as good to look as if they're nearly as good.

OK, don't get me started on that one, because the result will be a very long and angry rant.  Grrr.

(OT: I almost exploded over the weekend when I saw this long BBC piece about Obama and Hillary, focused entirely (and I mean for a full 15 minutes, an eternity in tv-time) on just the fact that they are black and female, respectively, to the exclusion of any and all issues of policy or anything else that really matters.  It was all gender and race, as if that had anything to do with competence.)

For some time the big news was all about Ségolène making silly mistakes. She said "bravitude"! Ha-ha-ha! Can you imagine a president who says "bravitude"?

Yeah, this plays into the whole "she's a lightweight" theme, which is honestly only an issue because she's female.  If she were a man with her experience, skills and qualifications, there would be no question of whether she's "serious" enough for the presidency.  It's fucking infuriating.

Sarko, who is an official candidate, is head of the right's biggest party, Interior Minister, and government Number Two. He should be paying a political price for wearing all those hats. Until the last week, no one has been extracting that price. It's as if the Royal campaign and the PS were simply unprepared for what was coming, even though it was very predictable. The right is campaigning as the right does. Get used to it and fight it.

Honestly, this seems to be an epidemic on the left in so many places.  The right, especially when they have been in power, should be held to account for the damage they've done, and for some reason they rarely seem to be.  It does seem to be happening in a few places (Spain, Italy, to some extent the US Congressional elections) but in those cases it seems mainly connected to a specific issue, support for the disastrous Iraq war.  It should not take something so extreme to discredit these people.

There is in fact no cliff-fall. Sarkozy too is falling.

That's interesting.  Is that a normal pattern, for the two top candidates to lose popularity after getting their respective nominations?

Royal's high point was in November '06, at 34%, down to 26% in the latest poll; Sarko's high point was last October at 38%, down to 32% in this poll). But it's all about perception... And the perception is that it's Royal who's slipping... Just a bit more of this, it will become self-feeding.

You're right.  The six-point difference between them, too, would be within the margin of error of most polls.  This brings me to another pet peeve, which is the way that opinion research is generally reported.  (Which is badly.)  This horse-race-reporting stuff is crap enough, but not even interpreting the horse race results properly is just inexcusable.

I guess this is as good place as any to start a full frontal assault on these false perceptions.  But PS and Royal's people are going to have to use the momentum created by revealing their programme to "bounce" and counter this stuff themselves.  If it's getting attention, even aggressive and unfriendly attention, they can and should use that to their advantage.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 02:20:14 PM EST

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