Saturday, January 20, 2007

Champagne Socialist Soap Opera

Image that Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle goes on television and says, "Hillary Clinton has only one defect -- her partner", and this coming shortly after Bill Clinton tells the press that everyone earning over $62,000 should be heavily taxed. That would be political theater at its finest. It is also the exact soap opera playing out in the French Presidential campaign.

Ségolène puts down her man: The glamorous candidate tore a strip off Hollande after he promised that her administration would slap a big tax rise on the well-off once she is elected. Added spice comes from the fact that Royal and Hollande have been a couple -- at least officially -- for most of the past 25 years and they have four children together.

Trouble on the home front for Ségo: Socialist embarrassment reached a peak when Arnaud Montebourg, an MP who is Royal's spokesman, quipped on television: "Ségolène Royal has only one defect -- her partner." … Royal, 53, suspended Montebourg for a month, but her reprimand seemed aimed at Hollande. "It should understood, particular by certain men, that they need to accept that women exercise their authority differently, but not more weakly than men," said Royal.

Socialist Presidential candidate Ségolène Royal and Socialist Party Chairman François Hollande have four children, no marriage license and a very old shared dream of government power. When Party Leader François feels the need to re-assert leftist orthodoxy that the rich should be taxed because they are rich, it forces Party Candidate Ségolène to make their finances public to prove they are not really that all that wealthy.

Accused Of Failing To Pay Her Taxes: Faced with taunts about being a gauche caviar, the Gallic equivalent of a champagne socialist, she denied being rich, instead claiming that she was just "well-off." … Not only does she have part ownership in three impressive homes with her boyfriend, the Socialist Party chairman Francois Hollande, but the two have set up a real estate company to manage the properties. This has enabled them to reduce the amount that they pay in l'impot de solidarité sur la fortune, or ISF, a high tax imposed on anyone with assets of more than $985,000.

Now that Hillary is officially in pursuit of her lifetime ambition, the similarities to the French political power couple make watching French mistakes even more entertaining. A guide to the melodrama is available at French Election 2007. Does anyone really believe Bill will be able to keep his ego and mouth disengaged for twenty months?