Tuesday, November 30, 2004


Just so I make clear that I am not aloof to the politics of my host country, I want to note the recent election of Nicolas Sarkozy to the position of party head of the main center-right party in France, the UMP. I'll tell you one thing and maybe the only thing that I really like about Sarkozy thus far: that he challenges President Jacques Chirac, even if some of it is a show to get his backers energized--and there are a lot of them, as he is the most popular politician in France right now. The U.S.'s UMP equivalent, the Republican party (well of course, the GOP is more extreme right and the UMP and the GOP obviously disagree on several foreign policy issues, like Iraq) suppresses discord in the party as much as possible. Thus, when I hear people get enthusiastic about the possibility of a McCain or a Giuliani nomination for president in '08, I have to feel bad for their enthusiasm because the Republicans under Bush aren't letting a prominent moderate have any say in running the government and they sure aren't going to let a moderate win the S. Carolina primary or even the Iowa primary in '08. Meanwhile, here in France, Nicolas Sarkozy continues to keep Chirac and PM Jean-Pierre Raffarin on their toes, and even though I may not agree with the guy too often, at least the UMP has multiple power brokers.

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