Francophone presidential candidate Mitt Romney, take note. It looks like Nicolas Sarkozy may be on the way out le door as President of France. Or as Prime Minister, François Fillon put it, “The carrots are cooked.”
Reports The Independent:
Confronted with plunging polls and deserting allies, President Nicolas Sarkozy faces the prospect of a rout in the two-round French presidential election starting this weekend, with senior members of his government already said to be certain of defeat. Supporters of the front-running Socialist candidate, François Hollande, could scarcely contain their euphoria when they gathered in Lille for their last big rally on Tuesday night before French electors go to the polls on Sunday. They interrupted the candidate’s speech endlessly with chants of “François president, François president”.
Mon dieu! How did M. Sarkozy get into this mess? And how does this relate to M. Romney’s own presidential struggles? Two similarities stand out.
One, President Sarkozy lost the confidence of his inner circle. Former ministers and supporters are ditching M. Sarkozy for M. Hollande up to and including former President Jacques Chirac. When a former prime minister says privately, “There is no chance of us winning,” your carottes are in serious trouble.
Lesson two: Running to the hard right is risky. This recent Sarkozy campaign moment speaks volumes:
Mr Sarkozy played down his recent hard-right rhetoric on immigration and the Islamist threat to French national identity. Instead, he appealed to the “people” to rise up against the opinion polls and the “elites” and rescue France from a “soft” Left which “detested success” and wealth-creation.
Voila, the whole right wing boilerplate and… it isn’t working. A current poll has M. Hollande possibly defeating M. Sarkozy by 14 percent. M. Romney, you can try the same strategy here but remember: nobody likes a soggy carrot.