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French Style Politics

The Fix spends most of his time focused like a laser on American politics, but occasionally the eye wanders across the ocean to presidential elections in other countries.

The more worldly of Fix readers know that Sunday marks the first round of the French presidential race, which includes a crowded field with four prominent frontrunners: center-right choice Nicolas Sarkozy, Socialist Segolene Royal, who is seeking to become the first female president of France, centrist Francois Bayrou and far-right controversy-monger Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Here are a few facts that make this race compelling and too hard to call:

* Royal's life partner and father of her children, who also happens to be the head of Socialist Party, said recently that he was concerned Royal would not finish in the top two.

* At one point in the race, Royal and Bayrou were rumored to be joining forces in an attempt to defeat Sarkozy, who leads in the polls.

* Amid some controversy, Sarkozy has embraced certain American political ideals.

Sarkozy's lead in the polls could be misleading. In France public polling is notoriously unreliable. Amaya Bloch-Laine, the director of the German Marshall Fund in Paris, recently penned a blog entry on the subject.

According to Bloch-Laine, recent surveys show Sarkozy with a shrinking single-digit lead over Royal, with Bayrou and Le Pen further behind. However, 40 percent of the electorate is still undecided. "Let's be clear about the French polls," Bloch-Laine writes. "None of them predicted Le Pen's surge in 2002."

The "surge" to which Bloch-Lain refers, of course, is Le Pen's stunning advance to the second round of voting -- akin to an American style runoff -- against French President Jacques Chirac in 2002. That year polls conducted before the first round showed Le Pen as an afterthought but it became clear in the after-action report that many people refused to say they supported Le Pen's anti-immigrant policies but they did in fact vote for him. (That sort of "hidden" vote has reared its head repeatedly in American politics as well -- most notably when former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke advanced to a runoff in the Louisiana governor's race in 1991.)

Another complicating factor, according to Bloch-Laine, is the rapid rise in new voters on the French rolls. Roughly 44.5 million people are now registered to vote, a 4.2 percent increase from last year and the largest such increase since 1981.

"This new electorate is mainly composed of young people living in big cities, citizens from French rural departments and expats," writes Bloch-Laine.

So much uncertainty makes prediction nearly impossible. The most likely outcome is that no candidate receives the simple majority of votes required to avoid a second round of voting on May 6. Sarkozy seems like the best bet to advance to the second round, with Royal and Bayrou fighting for the other slot. But it would also be foolish to discount Le Pen. We just won't know until the votes are counted.

We'll update the Fix Sunday when we have results.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 21, 2007; 10:52 PM ET
Categories:  Odds and Ends  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Line: Settling the '08 Field's Quarterly Accounts
Next: France: It's Sarkozy vs. Royal

Comments

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Posted by: jeozjk54jn | April 30, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

So Dave, just because it was over 225 years ago, you have to forget it? It was the founding of YOUR nation, which is important. If you start forgeting that, then we, french can forget the help in WWII then, which occured so long ago, like over 60 years....

Posted by: Damien | April 24, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

JD, it cuts both ways,
"We Americans should also be a tad bit more appreciative of the nation that was instrumental in the founding of our nation..."
If memory serves, that was OVER 225 YEARS AGO! Other than the Statue of Liberty, what exactly have the French done for us since then. Nothing unless it was also in their best interest. They have spent the last several decades trying to regain the world power status and importance that they had a couple hundred years ago - you know, that counterbalance to the US. Sometimes I think that we should ship the Statue of Liberty back to France because it seems that they have forgotten what it means and stands for.

I have been to France and in my travels i met nice people and not so nice people (like everywhere else), but i met nobody there that said they loved Americans. They told what they disliked about about the US - Reagan, Euro Disney, McDonalds, that we worked so much, that all Americans were history challenged, that we were prudes, that we had no culture, too commercial, and so on. There was a distict distain towards Americans from most people that i talked with (but i seemed ok, not like most Americans). Now i am sure that there are some French that think (or thought before Bush) that America was a country to be admired, but i never found them and they have not been in French politics. Sarkozy says that he admires the US and his actions appear to be backing up his statements. That said, he is running neck and neck with a SOCIALIST. And he was the protege of Chirac.

Posted by: Dave! | April 22, 2007 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Too HARD to call? You need to pay more attention.

Nidra Pollar at Pajamas Media has this almost to the decimal point at 5% pretty much at the same time you were posting this.

Check it out at
[Paris Blues] Predicting the French Presidential Elections -- Sarkozy by 5

http://pajamasmedia.com/2007/04/paris_blues_predicting_the_fre.php

Posted by: Vanderleun | April 22, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

We Americans should also be a tad bit more appreciative of the nation that was instrumental in the founding of our nation, providing critical help to us (timely direct intervention by their forces at places like Yorktown and supplying us with munitions) in our war against the Brits. I find it appalling how many Americans, young and old, do not even know this part of our nation's history

Posted by: JD, it cuts both ways | April 22, 2007 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Why can't they let judges decide, like in real democracies?

Posted by: denis | April 22, 2007 04:05 PM

Great Idea, the judges in this country did make the correct decision!

Posted by: to denis | April 22, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

JD: //If France, as a supposed ally, had just opted out instead of allowing Saddam to circumvent food-for-oil and continued doing business through Schlumberger et al (their version of Haliburton), the pressure may have been enough for Saddam to allow the inspections, and the entire war could have been averted, along with countless deaths.//

Yeah right, blame the Iraq war on France!

Talk about assuming your responsibilities!

BTW, that's what Bill O'Reilly did too. Great minds think alike...

PS: Schlumberger is a Dutch company! The Dutch are part of the Coalition of the Willing. (OK, "were" part of the Coalition of the Willing. They withdrew in 2005.)

Posted by: superfrenchie | April 22, 2007 7:36 PM | Report abuse

exactly TM. Saddam cooperated with the UN, and got invaded because of it. Bush had to rush to war because the UN was debunking all his ideas about Iraq.

Posted by: rob Millette | April 22, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

JD writes: the pressure may have been enough for Saddam to allow the inspections, and the entire war could have been averted, along with countless deaths.

Slight problem, Iraq did allow inspectors back. Bush is the one who cut the inspections off, because they were debunking all his arguments.

Posted by: TM | April 22, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

JD.... Let's not push the cause of Bush's war onto the French. Bush was taking us to war with Iraq. Period. The actions, or inaction, of other nations would not have, and did not, deter him.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | April 22, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Superfrenchie, to suggest that France wasn't safeguarding their business relationship with Saddam by being obstructionist in both the UN and other forums pre-Gulf War II is patently absurd. Even mainstream Democrats don't deny this anymore, neither should you, unless you cast your lot with the Bill Mahr/Michael Moore wing, aka whackjobs-are-us.

Damien, you obviously completely missed my point. If France, as a supposed ally, had just opted out instead of allowing Saddam to circumvent food-for-oil and continued doing business through Schlumberger et al (their version of Haliburton), the pressure may have been enough for Saddam to allow the inspections, and the entire war could have been averted, along with countless deaths.

Thanks alot, Paris.

Posted by: JD | April 22, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

ynaem.... You must be young, uneducated or incredibly unaware of the nature of the French Vichy regime.

The Vichy regime collaborated with Nazi Germany, capturing Jews and others deemed undesirable to use as slave labor or to be marked for extermination.

Opposition to the war in Iraq doesen't fit your skewed analogy. U.S. citizens are still allowed to have a difference of opinion with their government.

Only the most crass propagandists would pick up on your viewpoint.... which I guess leaves the door open for Limbaugh and like ditto heads.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | April 22, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Chris: //We just won't know until the votes are counted.//

They count the votes in France?

Why can't they let judges decide, like in real democracies?

Posted by: denis | April 22, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Idiotic American media competing for dumbest headline:

Headline on CNN.com right now: "Polls: 2 in runoff for French president"

Headline on usatoday.com: "2 projected in runoff for French presidency"

Headline on msnbc.com: "French candidates may face runoff"

Clueless!

Posted by: superfrenchie | April 22, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Senator Harry Reid is to Marshall Pétain as the Democratic Party is to the Vichy Regime.

I would like to interpolate this analogy into the blogosphere to stimulate a discussion of its relevancy to current political statements. I intend to encourage the dissemination of this inference and follow its progress with the goal of having it mentioned in the conventional media outlets.

Posted by: ynaem.newo@gmail.com | April 22, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Aussie: Sarko will likely win it. He will get all of Le Pen's votes + at least 2/3 of Bayrou who is center-right.

30 + 11 + 12 = 53%

Posted by: superfrenchie | April 22, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Anyway, back on topic. Here are the results as they stand now (the numbers may change slightly but the top 2 will be involved in the runoff)
Sarkozy - 30%
Royal - 25.2%
Bayrou - 18.3%
Le Pen - 11.5%

Gee I hope Sarko doesn't win it...

Posted by: Aussie view | April 22, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

pvt: yes, 2,500 dead, 5,000 wounded on the French side.

Thanks for not spitting on their graves.

Posted by: superfrenchie | April 22, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

NoVa,

You must have missed my restatement.

As to the Hugh Russian losses, the ratio was a result of Russian military tactics. They certainly believe more in canon fodder than we in the U.S.

As for WWI, it was a stalemate for many years until the American army broke it open.

Posted by: Pvt Ryan | April 22, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

superfrenchie

Ever hear of a battle at Dien Bien Phu?

Posted by: Pvt Ryan | April 22, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Pvt, in terms of population ratio, French losses were 4 times those of the US.

And considering your history of retreating from everywhere you've been in the last 40 years (Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia and soon Iraq where you're being soundly defeated by a ragtag band of about 10,000 "insurgents" armed with home-made bombs), lecturing others may not be in order.

Posted by: superfrenchie | April 22, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

onsidering that for every "Private Ryan" who died in WW2, 37 "Private Leonids" also died bleeding

yes, the ratio was 37:1. The French troop wounds were all in the back. From retreating!

Posted by: Pvt Ryan | April 22, 2007 01:44 PM

Except...
Leonid isn't a French name. You missed the point of the second front, which was the Soviet Union.

Posted by: NoVA | April 22, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Excue me, I retract and restate

Considering that for every "Private Ryan" who died in WW2, 37 "Private Jacques" also died bleeding

yes, the ratio was 37:1. The French troop wounds were all in the back. From retreating!

Posted by: Pvt Ryan | April 22, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Considering that for every "Private Ryan" who died in WW2, 37 "Private Leonids" also died bleeding

yes, the ratio was 37:1. The French troop wounds were all in the back. From retreating!

Posted by: Pvt Ryan | April 22, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Nice idea CC - am very interested in how this race goes. If that early polling is accurate then it seems there'll be a Sarko Sego runoff vote. I don't know a heap about French politics but to me Sarko sounds a bit too hard line for my liking.

Posted by: Aussie view | April 22, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Razor, France has always been and still is a member of NATO. They only withdrew from its military command, which they rejoined in 1993.

Besides, with the 3rd largest nuclear arsenal in the world, your reasoning about their reliance on Germany and the US assuring their defense doesn't make any sense.

What they wanted was independence, not reliance.

Posted by: superfrenchie | April 22, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

The worst of the worst post WW2 French manipulation was when, under DeGaulle, they withdrew from NATO in the 1960s. They knew that the US and Germany would have to hold the line against the Soviets, so that they would get all of the benefits of NATO, and they withdrew so they wouldn't have to share in the burden of NATO.

The French party of the right has historically been more anti-US because of French nationalism. The French party of the left has more often been the party that advocated more French participation/coperation with the US led western alliance.

Posted by: Razorback | April 22, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

HARD DEMOCRACY or soft dictatorship ;that is the balance between the description for the N.SARKOZY project,who agree with all the BUSH II practices,if this GUY is taking the power we have really a dictatorship risk ,an after a short time ,big troubles into the country .In particular ,quite a strong handicap for him ,he is the son of an hungarian emigrate and the grandson of an another one (jew)from SALONIQUE city ,in an old country like FRANCE it is important even if it is violentely politicaly incorrect to speack ,but for many people they thinck about ;"well wait and see" byie ! jack F

Posted by: JACK FROM MARSEILLES | April 22, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

JD, Being a NATO allie doesn't mean following everything the US wants to do. So if Bush decided to invade, let's say, Spain for exemple (no offense to Spain) We would HAVE to follow you? I don't think so. France view is different than the US one, and we have the right to choose. We went on war in Afhganistan with you to defend you after 9/11 and to find Bin Laden. Before talking about the relationship between France and Saddam, have you forgotten the one between the US and the Taliban? Where do you think they got their weapons? They were given at the time by the US to fight against the Soviet Union. The invasion on Iraq, however, was injustified. Tell me one good reason for it? The only reason was to defeat Saddam, who had nothing to do with those responsible for 9/11. Bush just wanted to be a good son and finish daddy's job. You can just see with Bush declaration after taking down the Iraqi government, saying that the war is over and that America won. So many dead, civilians and soldiers since then....Is iraq safer? no. Is America safer? No! So many more people hates the US now, more than ever, which means more and more terrorists ready to strike. Think about that.

Posted by: damien | April 22, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Chris!

This is a nice diversion.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | April 22, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Preliminary unofficial results not supposed to be published:

Sarko: 27
Sego: 26
Bayrou: 16
Le Pen: 12

Looks like a Sarko-Sego run-off.

(Which by the way would make French polls very reliable (Hi Chris))

Posted by: superfrenchie | April 22, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Turnout should be around 87% !
Amazing.

Posted by: Jerome ITU | April 22, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I hope the person that takes inspiration from America loses the election.

It was so much easier for the US to compete with China back when Mao was in charge.

It was so much easier for the US to compete with India when it was a socialist basket case.

Some in the US wish for 1950s style American capitalism when union participation was much higher. See Thomas Frank's book "Whatever Happened to Kansas".

The reason it was so easy to compete then was so much of the world was still caught up in the idiocy of socialism.

We need socialists to prevail in all election except those in the US, so we can return to Thomas Frank's ideal world.

Posted by: Razorback | April 22, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

As usual, Fox News is full of you-know-what regarding the world. My late wife was a French major in college and we travelled there a number of times over the years. Barring a few rude waitors and Parisian drivers, we found the French people to be very pleasant. If you're polite and at least try to speak some French, you'll have a wonderful time there.

I never observed any particularly strong anti-American feelings in France. Yes, many of them don't like the present U.S. administration, but nor do many of the British, Australians, and New Zealanders that I've met over the last six years (not-to-mention a very large minority of Americans). And many French are just like many of us Americans and other Anglophones, i.e., perfectly willing to express their opinions about it. Not liking Bush, et al. isn't the same thing as not liking Americans.

The only time I ever encountered hostility in France was from a North African who apparently hated everyone who wasn't Moslem, including the other passengers on the bus where we were (half of whom were native French). Even if only 10% of the Moslems in France do attend services at a mosque and only 10% of the attendees are hostile towards non-Moslems, that still represents a potential 5th column of terrorists which is some 40-50,000 strong. That's not a good situation, IMO, and it comes as no surprise to me that Le Pen gets as much electoral support as he does. In light of last year's riots, today's election outcome will be very interesting to see.

Posted by: Pacific NWerner | April 22, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

We can envy the French their "national" vote.... not a vote by an ossified Electoral College, or an election awarded by the Supremes.

But, we could change that. Maryland has led the way by passing the National Popular Vote plan. It's explained it more fully here:

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | April 22, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

JD: //They should remember who their NATO allies are, especially the one who saved their bacon 2x last century.//

Considering that for every "Private Ryan" who died in WW2, 37 "Private Leonids" also died bleeding the German War Machine on the Eastern Front, should we ally ourselves with everything Putin is saying?

As for WW1, you should really open a history book!

Posted by: superfrenchie | April 22, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

For the record, participation at noon was 31.21%. It was 21.40% in 2002.

Same impression at the French Embassy in Washington yesterday where lines were much longer than usual.

Posted by: superfrenchie | April 22, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry: I meant 4 or 5 Billion (with a B) dollars worth of way overdue bills by deadbeat Iraq before the war.

It was small, but not that small!

Posted by: superfrenchie | April 22, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

JD: //Because they did so much business with him, it seemed that they felt that obstructionism was the way to keep their businesses happy and tap into the Iraq oil wealth.//

That's absurd!

France had between 4 and 5 million dollars worth of way overdue bills by deadbeat Iraq before the war. For a 2.2 trillion dollar economy to base a major foreign policy decision on such a ridiculous amount would have been idiotic. As well, the French were only the 7th Iraq oil-buyer, way below the US.

Besides, if money had been the object, it would have made a lot more sense to join the coalition of the willing and bet on reconstruction dollars.

As the Eyewitness Muse said in the first comment, it seems Fox and has done a masterful job of disinformation in this country!

Posted by: superfrenchie | April 22, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Do you think if the French had known during WWII that if the Allies won -- if America's Jewish dominated elite won -- the result would be the end of Franch as a white traditionally Catholic society, and those who resist this change would be deemed evil -- that they would have continued fighting?

Every healthy race tries to maintain its power within a society, both its percentage and its influence in the power structure.

Sick races, beta races, accept their demise.

So, why did all those Western societies dominated by America's Jewish dominated elite decide to do the abnormal and promote multiculturalism?

Posted by: Joe Morgan | April 22, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Before we get too far down the path of praising France's envy or emulation of US values, remember that they have been the prime troublemaker for us in any number of intitiatives when trying to deal with Saddam in less-than-war ways. Because they did so much business with him, it seemed that they felt that obstructionism was the way to keep their businesses happy and tap into the Iraq oil wealth.

I wonder if you could say similar things about Iran - is France doing business with Ahmadinejad? It makes it hard for sanctions and such to have any teeth, when other wealthy countries ignore sanctions, this reminds me of the relationship between China and N Korea too. Then France frets when the US decides to bomb or attack as the last resort, once sanctions fail (with Paris' assistance).

They are playing a manipulation game, or at least their government has been. They should remember who their NATO allies are, especially the one who saved their bacon 2x last century.

Posted by: JD | April 22, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Jean-Paul, it's "born-again" Christians. And, no, they don't make up 50% of the electorate in the U.S., though they do make up a major constituency, especially in the Republican Party. However, the term "born-again" is now used rather frequently, and flippantly, to describe Christians of a variety of stripes. So, it's not easy to say exactly how many there are in the U.S.

Posted by: Ryan | April 22, 2007 8:33 AM | Report abuse

"This new electorate is mainly composed of young people living in big cities, citizens from French rural departments and expats," writes Bloch-Laine.

Certainly some of the the 500 000 or so expat Brits living in France do take an active part in LOCAL elections, and one or two are even ELECTED to LOCAL councils.
But, neither we, nor any other EXPAT is allowed to vote in any PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.

I think you have quoted Mme Bloch-laine out of context when she was talking about Local or European Council elections rather than Presidential elections.

Posted by: Peter | April 22, 2007 4:40 AM | Report abuse

There wasn't a real "Le Pen surge" in 2002. What happened was a Socialist lack of interest in the first round. Too many Jospin supporters assumed he would pass the first hurdle and they would go and vote for him at the second round, They aren't going to make that mistake again for at least one generation

Posted by: john somer, brussels, belgium | April 22, 2007 4:29 AM | Report abuse

I do not think that in any other Western country, simple citizens are as much despised by their politicians than in France.
Our country has become a kind of soft dictatorship, where power has been monopolized for 30 years by a few persons who do not want to give up their seat.
The differences between socialist, center and conservative right programs are very tiny : for all, always omnipotent State and high level of taxes and welfare.
And as these so clever, honest and courageous people refuse to admit their errors, they have no other choice than designating scapegoats to explain all French troubles : inside the country, rich people and bosses, all invitably bad, outside the country, American and British "ultra-libéralisme", Polish plumbers, China, India...
And French media don't do their duty of counterbalance that should be theirs : they all repeat the same stupidities than the politicians instead of reinstating the truth.

I am in the same time anxious and confident for my country : anxious, because there isn't among the 12 candidates the French Reagan or Thatcher that more and more French people expect, and because there will still be many demonstrations within the next months and years ; confident, because a lot of us feel that we are living the end of a period, and that this situation cannot last much longer...

Posted by: Pascale | April 22, 2007 4:19 AM | Report abuse

and, to keep the little precisions from the French, Royal and Bayrou were not exactly rumored to join forces to beat Sarkozy.
The exact fact is that Socialist ex Prime Minister Michel Rocard encourages them to join forces and was joined in that idea by another influent socialist : Bernard Kouchner.
However, neither Roal or Bayrou considered this as a possibility.

Posted by: laurent | April 22, 2007 3:38 AM | Report abuse

and, to keep the little precisions from the French, Royal and Bayrou were not exactly rumored to join forces to beat Sarkozy.
The exact fact is that Socialist ex Prime Minister Michel Rocard encourages them to join forces and was joined in that idea by another influent socialist : Bernard Kouchner.
However, neither Roal or Bayrou considered this as apossibility.

Posted by: laurent | April 22, 2007 3:37 AM | Report abuse

Being French myself and leaving in the US for a few years I just wanted to precise a few things on the main candidates:

Nicolas Sarkozy is not center-right but represents the conservative French right, inspired in many aspects by Bush's politics. He has also recently and frequently lured the far-right electorate with controversial statements.

Francois Bayrou is really the center-right candidate even though his strategy is to embody non-partisanship and a new model above the left-right cleavage (he indeed served as Minister of National Education in the conservative governments of Balladur and Juppé, from 1993 to 1997).

I just wanted to clarify a few things. Now I will be waiting for the results with great excitement.

Posted by: A French in the US | April 22, 2007 2:33 AM | Report abuse

"What part will the Islamists play in the French election?" ...
Wow, what a question ... It seems the French-bashing websites have managed to persuade we're on the path of islamization of the whole country...
Muslims in France are between 3 and 4 millions in an averall population of 60 millions. The rate of religious practise is the same as for christian catholics : 90 % never go to the mosquee, or only for big events, and 10 % practise regularly.
In contrast, I've recently read that almost 50% of the americans consider themselves as "newborn" christians in a way or another. Is it true ? What will be the influence of these extremists on the next US presidential election ?
;-)
Best kisses from Paris

Posted by: Jean-Paul | April 22, 2007 1:42 AM | Report abuse

What part will the Islamists play in the French election?

Posted by: Hal | April 22, 2007 1:05 AM | Report abuse

You're right, french people don't hate the US. As a french citizen living in the US, I can tell you that. They don't like what Bush is doing and have done, and that's it. Just so you know, before Bush came as president of this country, and started a war on about whatever is moving in the world, the french people really liked the US and their ideas They were an exemple. and we just didn't like the way the Bush administration and the US media treated us.

Posted by: damien | April 22, 2007 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Wow, who'd a thunk the leader in the French polls would be the guy who said this:

"I don't see why my country doesn't take inspiration from its great ally," [said] Sarkozy, ..."I love the value Americans place on work and the desire for excellence that you find everywhere."

I think this goes to show that a lot of the Fox News, talk radio-inspired animous toward our French friends is nothing more than manufactured outrage.

(And I can't help but wonder how much of the manufactured French outrage over the US is really aimed at Bush, and not "we the people.")

We'll find out soon I guess...

Meantime, back in the good old USA, it's a potential Bush successor who's poundng the war drums--Beach Boys Style. John, buddy, you brought this one on yourself:

"Operation Karaoke: McCain to Croon More Policy Tunes"
http://www.eyewitnessmuse.com/musings.php?p=263
...McCain is banking on capturing the senior citizen vote by rewriting the classic Bill Haley and the Comets' tune to say: "We're gonna rock Ahmadinejad tonight...we're gonna bomb, bomb, bomb till broad daylight."

To demonstrate to 40-somethings that he's still quite the hipster, McCain will issue new versions of Joan Jett's "I love rock and roll" ("I love shock and awe") and the classic Deep Purple anthem will become "Smoke on your daughter."...

Posted by: The Eyewitness Muse | April 21, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse

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