Tuesday, April 24, 2007

J'aime Sego

The most unpredictable of French presidential campaigns (as some have called it) is winding down to a very predictable conclusion. After eliminating all secondary candidates, Nicolas Sarkozy and Segolene Royal will sprint to win a run-off election in two weeks. And Sarko is almost certain to win since the sum of the French leftist, Socialist, Communist, neo-lefto-righto-crypto-islamo-anti-syndicalist-trotskyite-anti-semitic and environmental vote is still less than 50% of the total electorate.

That’s good news for France, but sad news for me because I really like Segolene. I think she’s incredibly attractive.

I’m sure some will cringe because the only nice things I have to say about the female candidate in this race have to do with her physical appearance. But I’m not being sexist. I don’t like her politics and I don’t understand what she’s saying.

I have no doubt that what her critics say is true . . . she’s inarticulate, unprepared, unimaginative, and an unreconstructed lefty. The only thing she has going for her are her looks and that’s saying a heck of lot in her case . . . Sego’s got it going on!

Look at her in this TV interview in 1992. Don’t listen to her blab on about some environmental ruse for expanding the nanny state . . . just look at her wrap her lips around those hard to pronounce French words with her summer tan and rich “royal” blue get-up.

She’s wonderful. She reminds me of all the things I like about the French. First of all, they don’t hide behind irony like Americans do. When they run a woman for President it’s a real woman! She’s not trying to act like a man. And if she is, she’s entirely unconvincing.

She may be trying to rally the working class aganist moneyed interests but she looks like a million bucks while she's doing it.

Plus, the French have more authentic unselfconscious sense of style than Americans will ever have. Just look at this studio set up for a candidate interview on television. This is from the En Aparte program on Canal+

Can you imagine some slob like Dennis Kucinich delivering a coherent sentence on a set like that? He’d be sitting there with a salesman’s grin looking around for the camera with the little red light on it and scratching himself through the shiny fabric of his cheap suit.

Stick Sego on that couch and she looks terrific from every angle.

Again, I don’t care what she’s saying. She’s probably proposing diplomatic pressure against the Taliban regime in Kabul or a guaranteed income for middle-aged university students but she says it with extraordinary loveliness.

And loveliness is a quality entirely lacking in American politics (with the exception of John Edwards).

I was lucky to be in Paris in 1981 when Francois Mitterrand was elected President of the Republic and saw many spontaneous displays of un-ironic style and patriotic loveliless.

On election night crowds overwhelmed the Metro and commandeered the trains to Place de le Bastille chanting “Voila Gagne!”

A few days later Mitterrand rode stone-faced up the Champs Elysees past cheering crowds while standing in the back of a modified Citroen DS with a chrome handhold for processional occasions. (This was a few weeks before the attempted assassinations of President Reagan and Pope John Paul II and so probably the last time that presidential DS was used.)

After laying a wreath at the Arc de Triumph, Mitterand paid his respects to famous Frogs of the past in the Pantheon. He roamed the halls alone with fixed television cameras broadcasting his progress simultaneously to the nation.

Effortlessly stylish. Emotionally patriotic without cheap sentimentality. It allmost makes me want to dig into a pate sandwich and a Kronenbourg right now.

Sego is bound to lose this next round but she and her innate Frenchiness has certainly brightened my springtime.

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