Saturday, March 10, 2012

Catch A Falling Star....

Depardieu, Wednesday on British Television
On April 22, for your information, France will hold it's first round in the Presidential Elections. The process is so swift compared to the long drawn out Grand Guignol of the American Process. There is an air of depression around the Sarkozy UMP Camp. The Little Hyper President's polling remains stuck, hovering below 30% approval by the French Public despite daily attempts to try to draw the far right into the folds of the UMP. The French humor show, Groland, has repeatedly made the point that the main tactic of the UMP is to panic the elderly. They have been doing a series of skits of a French UMP sponsored bus vacation senior citizen tour of the urban modern ghettos we refer to the Ban lieu.
But the desperation is evident in the difficulty of his main far right threat, Marine LePen of the Front National, in obtaining the necessary sponsorship signatures of 500 mayors to be officially registered as a candidate. It's UMP dirty politics that stop mayors from signing. Since the sponsorship[ is a transparent process, the mayors are being told that if they sign for LePen, they will be cut off from subsidies for their towns in the future. Marine LePens' campaign is up and running and she has numbers that are a serious threat to Sarkozy. 
On the other hand, as of today,  the Socialist Candidate, Francois Hollande is sporting an easy lead for the premier tour of the election, even according to the very conservative TF1 polls.  In the second Tour, after the elimination, the same TF1 polls show Hollande winning by more than 10%!
Saving the analysis for perhaps another post, I am very optimistic without losing my sense of extreme caution that perhaps, France will have a Socialist government again. Hollande carries the onus of never really being in any position but a regional political leader and one time leader of the Socialist Party. His power base is the heartland of France, the Correze. France does have a historical Socialist Majority in the  Senate now. The UMP has never been so factionally divided and unpopular. Hollande has come out very strongly as an anti corporate champion of the middle class and poor. He is the 99% candidate!
The Left seems strangely united. The UMP seems strangely lethargic, riven with internal warfare and demoralized. Sarkozy even has spoken of his life after politics if he loses. Carla is incredibly disliked. In recent European polls, Nicolas Sarkozy has scored as the least favorably viewed leader by other countries. None the less, Angela Merkel has tied her political fortune to Sarko. She is intervening in French politics by actively supporting Sarkozy and supposedly, she has told other conservative European heads of state to shun Hollande and deny him credibility by refusing to meet with him before the election. This has had the effect of backfiring here in France and the President of Poland has already defied Merkel. 
In the last French presidential election, Sarkozy was pitted against Segolene Royale. Hollande was the head of the Socialist Party and Royale was his long time companion. The lived together and had 3 children, but were never married. The strain of the campaign destroyed the Royale/Hollande relationship and it has taken a few years for them to be able to exist in the same political sea, none the less, Segolene remains a charismatic and powerful regional political leader and seems to be a very effective team player. She will be a member of the Hollande Government if he wins.
In the last election, Sarkozy was able to get the support of few big name French super stars....interestingly enough, most of the personalities who supported him seem to have had their careers decline and disappear. The one big name he had was Johnny Halliday. Halliday is like the French Elvis, except Elvis had the grace to die...Halliday keeps going from liver transplant to liver transplant.
He actually has become an embarrassment for Sarkozy because since the election, he has figured out how to not pay taxes in France after demanding and being paid 1 million Euros to perform at Sarkozy's victory  celebration.  He lives in Switzerland now. There are billboards all over the region advertising another Halliday tour...and bookies are taking bets as to whether he will actually survive long enough to perform. I would be interested to know if there is a money back guarantee if he kicks off before the concert date.
The Socialists have a pretty good stable of young intelligent artists actively supporting them including one time World Tennis Champion, Yannick Noah, who over the last 20 years has transformed himself into the biggest musical star in France. Interestingly enough, both of Noah's sons have become sports superstars in the USA. The Socialists are seemingly able to take the  American Obama/Democrat techniques and make them work here in France. They have had a pretty effective internet campaign going for months now while the UMP is still getting the bugs ironed out on line image.
They keep talking about Sarkozy's fresh start...he's had a fresh start to his campaign at least 6 times now and it's still pretty stale. One PR disaster after another. Carefully orchestrated media events that go horribly wrong. Today, bus loads of senile UMP supporters at an event and Sarkozy screaming to shut them up caught on camera. On Thursday, Carla remarks that her and her husband are simple unassuming plain people.  8 year old children made to wave flags and chant Sarkozy president, when he visits their school, and then the parents complaining. Tuesday massively booed at a speech in Bayonne on camera.
But tomorrow, he;s gonna try to turn it around again with a huge media tailored event and he seems to have snared Gerard Depardieu, once a populist rebel superstar, once a charismatic brilliant actor, 
sarko's shoes
But though,  Depardieu might have flashes of lucidity once in a while, he is more often caught in an alcoholic daze. The last time we saw him, he was excusing himself for phblically pissing in the aisle of a Irish Passenger Jet. The picture of him above is from a British Television talk show from Wednesday night. The snide comments in the article referred to him as being a public drunk. He's publicly exploding, physically and mentally. Once again, Sarkozy has seemed to catch a falling star. Depardieu is going to appear at Sarkozy's rally tomorrow and give his support to the president and perhaps publicly piss on the little hyper presidents elevator shoes.....

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