Monday, May 14, 2007
Sarkozy The Pragmatist
Kevin Drum was wondering when American conservatives were going to quit fawning over Nicolas Sarkozy long enough to realize "...that when it comes to actually dealing with the United States, he's going to be every bit the pain in the ass de Gaulle was." He thinks Andrew McCarthy over at NRO might be the first sign that the honeymoon is over.
Look for the divorce proceedings to begin should Hubert Védrine, former Mitterand chief of staff and Foreign Minister under Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, accept Sarkozy's offer of Foreign Minister. Védrine coined the term "hyperpuissance" (hyperpower) to describe America's post-Cold War international status, and was the architect of the French "containment" policy designed to pushback against American domination of global geopolitics.
For Sarkozy, the offer is part of his attempt to open up his cabinet to the left, thereby establishing bi-partisan credibility. Another prominent Socialist, Bernard Kouchner, who founded Doctors Without Borders, has also been mentioned for the same post. Le Figaro cited sources claiming Kouchner is "...ready to enter the government", although his actual post wasn't specified.
The rumors have set the Socialist hive abuzz. François Hollande, the Party's Secretary General, has already threatened any party members who accept a position in Sarkozy's government with expulsion, saying “You can’t belong to one side then join the other." Bertrand Delanöe, the Mayor of Paris and another prominent Socialist, declared, "You can't be of the left and of this government":
"I'm not going to claim that Claude Allègre has become stupid or that Bernard Kouchner has lost his appeal, but I'll simply say that whoever believes in good faith that this government can carry out a progressive program" is fooling himself, he insisted. (Translated from the French.)
At least one member of Sarkozy's team isn't exactly thrilled with the bi-partisan idea either. Patrick Devedjian, his chief campaign strategist, insisted that "...loyalty isn't necessarily the opposite of competence."
It was a not-so-thinly-veiled reply to Sarkozy's declaration last week that "...loyalty is for the sentiments, efficiency is for the government." Sarkozy's way of warning the faithful, on both sides of the Atlantic, that there would be some disappointments when the actual government is named.