Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Here's the problem with the "Tout sauf Sarko" strategy. Its very difficult for Royal to launch the sort of all-out attack that would be necessary for this to win. She can't use her official tv spots to attack him, and she doesn't have the sort of contacts with journalists that would allow her campaign to place stories reminding voters of the umpteen reasons that Sarkozy is to be feared. Only Canard and Libe and some left-leaning blogs have really been pushing those stories, and anyone who reads those had better already be in her camp.

If it were an American election, the strategy would be clear -- destroy him.

But sadly she needs for him to make another mistake, on the order of "genetique" or "racaille" -- but I think with the strong position he holds, he's going to campaign as if on whatever anti-anxiety medication his campaign logo was stolen from: blue skies, flying birds, soft music sweetly resonating "Ensemble..."

She needs to force him to make a mistake, and he's eminently capable of doing it. I think the only way for her really to put pressure on him is to start to make big inroads, fast, into the Bayrou electorate and the way to do that, as I posted yesterday, is to propose a full-scale agenda for institutional reform of parties, elections, finance (especially!) and the state. Sadly, though, its Sarko who is already gaining control of this terrain, proposing a "pole centriste" to his governing coalition; that should have been the first words out her mouth Sunday night.

I realize this is precisely the opposite of what Melanchthon is proposing, but it seems to me that a real "ouverture" and moreover a real promise to dissolve and build a true coalition of the center-left party -- managed capitalism, a more efficient public sector (yes); pro-European (with social and environmental orientation), and for that (much needed) populist edge, a challenge to the predominance of the financial-political elite.

by desmoulins (gsb6@lycos.com) on Tue Apr 24th, 2007 at 11:59:22 AM EST
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