« There is a tide in the affairs of men ». There might indeed be. For there is nothing as Shakespearian as the penultimate revelation of the French Presidential. Remember the days of the old schoolyard, M. Hollande : chubby kid, turned left by a Mitterrand-hearted mum, turned as cynical as sharp by a quasi-extremist dad. Just a few weeks ago, the story sounded too good to be true : « François follows the path to his mother’s tomb. The man turns right, then left, meets fate, pulls a rose out of his mantle and finds arose the ideal (please allow the license) ». Hard to believe. « I knew my time had come ». Dangerous statement– politics, these days, gets to make believe that sense of purpose is just the avatar of a reprobed ego. Facts and figures, M. Hollande, not just : présidence normale.
But here we are at crosscroads, getting to believe, once again, that going Left can be rational, beyond emotional. Yes, M. Hollande gathers the requisites of the romantic hero : decline, catharsis and come-back. Yet, François did demonstrate an aisance of a more classical nature against Sarkozy.
For, one should remember : Hollande is Enarque, guarantor of a not-so-slack tradition of French administrators whereas Sarkozy is du droit, subject to the flaws (paradoxically ?) of his acumen : propensity to impress… or depress. And Hollande has managed to reconcile with his enarque dimension, hopefully restoring the dream of change of this « golden generation » : Royal, Villepin, etc. Hollande : seventh from the Voltaire promotion… not so candide.
And very much politically acute. For, in the layman’s shoes, what matters is not technicality. Rather, the candidate should show ability at nuancing, and force his opponent to nuance. In Mauritian Kreol, we would say : « li bizin konn tir lipoupoul ». What we do remember is stature, composure, poise… And Hollande made his statement : he believes in a project and can prove, with apparent ease and expertise as magistrat de la cour des comptes, that the project is, at least, worth trying. The « n’ayons pas peur. N’ayons même pas peur si vous étiez réélu M. Sarkozy » coupled prophetic grandeur with reasonable optimism. Why not ?
Sarkozy ne laisse pas sa part aux chiens… mais la caravane passe. Indeed, the UMPist fills many a shakespearean requisite too. But that of an Orsino, self-infatuation, se gargarisant in the style : « if music be the food of love play on ». And while Bruni caressed her bard-like zither to amuse the Elysean, the renard did not think twice before stealing le fromage alléché.