- Posted May 8, 2012 by
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New French President Hollande Reads Directly From the Mitterrand Playbook: Bad London, Good Africa
As French president-elect Hollande prepares to assume the yolk of leadership of his country, there is a definite crackling of fearful excitement among French political writers and bloggers. Some among them are fearful that we of the United States will not exercise sufficient caution in seating Mr. Hollande at the social and fiscal table of debate. Coverage of Hollande has been fairly lacking in high emotion in the American Press, one suggests, mainly because Americans are just not schooled in French politics. Of course that will change soon enough after the right wing pundits of Fox News and EIB start sinking their teeth into his left-leaning socialist affiliations.
British coverage of Hollande centers upon his recent criticisms of England's perceived provincial interests only in the welfare of London--though the Brits counter relentlessly with their past willingness to bail out and lend to failed Euro economies, such as Spain's and Portugal's to the tune of billions of pounds.
President-elect Hollande's press secretary has wasted no time in announcing France's withdrawal from Afghanistan, a place where it says France's military never had business going--and US President Obama has asked to meet shortly with the new French president in advance of scheduled summits, presumably to make the American case for France's holding on in Afghanistan just a bit longer.
French pundits declare that Hollande isn't just frightening the rich--with talk of 75% tax rates, but the small and average-size business owner.
The bottom line is that we can learn much about someone by observing the thinking and action of that person's mentor. In this case, Francois Mitterrand was instrumental in the EU movement and fought for European unity both fiscally and socially, with a somewhat backward glancing concern for France's former colonies in light of England's influence.
No small wonder, then, that Hollande has made the first volleys in his war of words with London and that he has evidenced strong support from French Muslims, overwhelmingly from North Africa. Truly both are in keeping with the Mitterrand playbook thus far. I'm W J O'Reilly.