Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I was going to say something about Audrey Pulvar's new gig on On n'est pas couché. The show runs later on TV5Monde here in the US than in France, so I've just seen the episode in which she faces Martine Aubry. I gather that Ségolène Royal has been on since then. It does seem odd to me that Pulvar, who is Arnaud Montebourg's companion, is allowed to play this role. Not that I thought she was any better or worse than any other chroniqueuse would have been in that spot. It's just that the potential is there. And there was no disclosure of her special relationship to another candidate, in case any viewer was unaware of it. I guess in France it is just assumed that everyone is in the know about everything. In any case, it seems that Pulvar has commented on another blog, defending herself against criticism of this sort.
Christine Ockrent interviews Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, in English, for the BBC: "I said to myself, I must marry this man, he is the president, and he knows everything about flowers as well ... this is incredible."
A former directeur de cabinet of Jean-Pierre Chevènement has joined Marine Le Pen's party. It's one thing for the left to lose part of its rank-and-file to the populist right, but the desertion of former cadre of the left of the left suggests that Le Pen has succeeded--alas!--in her effort to remove the stigma from her father's party. The article suggests, however, that her success is far from complete.
Mediapart investigates which economists are supporting and/or consulting with which candidates. Unsurprisingly, Hollande is surrounded by more economists than any other candidate (my colleague Philippe Aghion gets around: he is listed as backing Hollande while consulting with Royal). Aubry has essentially one prominent economist in her entourage: Daniel Cohen. Royal has, among others, Jacques Attali, which should disqualify her. Montebourg has an anti-globalization team. And Valls has--nobody.
The French Senate may not have much power, but the Constitution cannot be amended without it, so one consequence of Sunday's power shift is that there will be no balanced budget amendment: Sarkozy's Golden Rule is dead, and may it rest in peace with a stake through its heart. This was an ill-considered electoral ploy, nothing more. The president may still try to use the threat to maneuver his opponent into a corner, but there's no danger of this nonsense actually becoming law.