Monday, May 7, 2012

Adieu, Sarko

If you happened to be calling upon the French version of Google yesterday, their delightful doodle would have informed you that some kind of electoral event was taking place in France.

And the cover of this morning's Libération would have revealed that an exceptionally normal fellow named François Hollande (yes, these days, being "normal" can, in certain circumstances, be quite exceptional) got elected as the president of the French Republic.

This morning's media reveal the parts of France that are red (leftist) and those that are blue (rightist).

My Isère department (green dot) is part of the red meat in a sandwich between a pack of northern right-wing neighbors (Lyon, Rhône-Alpes, Savoie and Jura) and the lowlands of Provence to the south. It's nice to see that the highlands around Grenoble, and then the vast Alpine territories extending south-east to Italy, are resolutely red.

Future historians are likely to conclude that the Sarkozian episode in France was the outcome of some kind of a political misunderstanding. But the fact that half of France still considers that he was the right man in the right place suggests that our judgment is basically flawed.

Meanwhile, I'm touched by the photo of the victory embrace of the new president and his former wife, Ségolène Royal.

We're all a little sad to think that Ségolène herself was quite close to presidential victory just 5 years ago. Inevitably, many of us will now see Ségolène (a lovely but naive person) as a kind of "shadow first lady".

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