Nov 11 2008

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Will Royal face Sarkozy again in 2012?

I was interested to read in Liberation that Segolene Royal has won the Socialist Party’s endorsement of her policies. In the voting, Royal received 29%, with Aubry and Delanoe following with 25% each, and Hamon with 19%. Bertrand Delanoe, who has the support of Royal’s ex-partner Francois Hollande, is also mayor of Paris.

I’ve always liked Royal, and thought she conducted a reasonable campaign back in 2007. Stylish and assertive, she even wears heels when visiting remote farms! A good debater, she was a match for Sarkozy in their final debate, perhaps too much so, since as Adam Gopnik remarked in his article, ‘this allowed Sarkozy to look wistfully harried and play the one part that he’d never had the chance to play before–a sympathetic, erring, middle-class French husband being blasted by a furious wife.’

It’s no secret that Royal, who campaigned for the party vote on promises of ‘renewal’, has her sights on nomination as the Socialist Party’s presidential candidate in 2012. But her party seems fractured, to say the least, and she has to find a way to bring it together. One tactic is for her not to take the post of secretary-general for herself, but to strengthen her support by offering it to another of the leading figures, although that’s unlikely to be Delanoe. Perhaps the significantly younger Hamon, since Royal has been talking about needing a ‘new generation’ in the Socialist Party. Especially since Olivier Besancenot, youthful candidate of the Revolutionary Communist League in 2007 and very likely 2012, seems to be making huge strides in the popularity polls, as I’ve mentioned before.

One wonders how Hollande, who has been the secretary-general of the Socialist Party for 11 years, feels about all this. He apparently would have liked to have been the presidential candidate in 2007, but the party chose Royal instead.

On Hollande’s blog he is pictured calm and smiling, and in his post on November 8, he speaks of bringing everyone together, listening to the different messages, and translating them into success.

On verra

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