Saturday, February 24, 2007

Neck And Neck

Saturday night French election update! The latest polls have a real upsurge for Segolene Royal! After tanking last week at 46% to Sarkozi's 54%, the latest poll has her actually winning the first tour of the election! If the election were to go to a second vote, they would be virtually tied. The appearance on the 1oo Questions program on Monday is still hot news and segments get rebroadcast over and over. Also this week, the Socialist Party Royal Election Team was reorganized and the Party has come together with all of the heavy hitters solidly in line. Juppe, Jospin, Strauss-Khan all part of the team. Today in Calais, Juppe made an appearance in front of a 10,000 strong rally giving a powerful speech and introducing Segolene who rallied the faithful! Last night, she went to the Olympia to see the incredible Jamel Debbouze is appearing with his Comedy Club. If you know who Jamel is, you are a lucky person. He is probably one of the most loved figures in France. A very short Algerian with a crippled arm and an incredible rapid fire ad libbing wit full of good energy!
Perhaps you will get to see his movie on the Algerian war, Indigenes...The English title is Days of Glory. He invited her up on stage and the crowd adored them both.
On the other hand Sarkozi seems to be channeling the dark side. He makes lots of noise but I think his initial bluster has worn thin and he is scaring a lot of people.
His organization has made the internet virtually useless as whenever there is a question or a comment section on a news site it is jammed with organized anti Royal propaganda. This is discussed all the time. He fired his attack spokes woman because she was too obnoxious and they found she was putting everyone off and had become a joke. He has made a lot of his hard line speeches about the need for discipline and is sounding a bit more by the numbers Mussolini like. His staff burst into an Education Ministry Meeting on foreign exchange students demanding that he be given the minutes of the meeting because he was going to need them after he became president to help monitor the movements of foreigners. They were reminded that he wasn't president and he had no jurisdiction.
Last week everyone was talking about Francois Bayrou, the UDF candidate as the third man and spoiler of the election. As far as I could see that was just to fill up dead air space. Bayrou has his 15 minutes in every race then it's over. He said he wanted to be another Prodi as a leader, bridging the gap between left and right, then the next day, Prodi's coalition fell apart in Italy. We aren't sure as to what game he thinks he's playing. Pandering to the left but we know he would be conservative when elected.
The real spoiler is still the never gracefully aging Jean Marie LePen. He still claims to be scrambling for his signatures, but he will get them, just as no one will ever admit to planning to vote for him, but they do. His daughter, Marine, does all the foot work for him, appearing on talk shows. I must say she looks better after losing some weight and changing her hair. In the last election I did a characature of her as a Bayonne Ham with a blond wig...cruel, but the only explanation of her strange appeal.
The broad band of the far left candidates slog on. The LCR Candidate, Olivier Besancenot bravely struggles on. He is very radical, extremely intelligent, the best debator and was just named in a poll as one of the most loved figures in France.
He still has his day job as a postman in Paris. Jose Bove is going to jail, but probably will still get his signatures and run for president from his cell.
This is shaping up to be an election like never before. The debates are non stop, there are a lot of wild cards. The scrutiny of the media is intense on both sides. Sarkozi has himself as his worst enemy. His ego has done him more damage than any words slung at him. He has simply assumed too much and offended almost everyone in the process.

No comments: