March 7, 2007


Candidate upends French presidential race (Elaine Sciolino, March 7, 2007, NY Times)

In the final weeks of a presidential election that has been dominated by a nurturing Socialist and a crime-busting conservative, a third candidate has upended the race with a distinct theme: put partisanship aside and reject the false promises of the big parties.

François Bayrou, a 55-year-old politician, farmer and former classics teacher, is campaigning as the "neither-nor" option. Remarkably, the strategy seems to be working, in part because of rising disillusionment over the two main candidates. [...]

After a year in which the right's Nicolas Sarkozy and the left's Ségolène Royal dominated news coverage, newspapers across the political spectrum have now moved Bayrou to their front pages. It seems possible that he could edge out Royal in the first round of voting and make it to the run-off on May 6.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 7, 2007 9:56 PM

I know that many graveyard whistlers here think everything is OK, but when the preeminent nation has choices like McCain and Giuliani on one side, and Clinton or Obama on the other, it is evidence of decline.

We could use Bayrou here, but only if they ran on the credible policies we have here.

The Republicans are rapidly squandering any credibility they have left, and the Dems squandered theirs sometime in the 70s.

Posted by: Bruno at March 7, 2007 11:04 PM

Ain't it the sad truth. The Republic will survive any of the four, but not without some degree of pain and embarrassment.

Posted by: PapayaSF at March 8, 2007 1:15 AM

Yeah, imagine America electing a war hero as president. What have we come to?

Posted by: oj at March 8, 2007 7:47 AM

War heroes who have no respect for the 1st Amendment have no concept of what their heroism was in service of.

I'll vote for McCain, and I'll buy that he may be better than the other 2 "frontrunners." But his refusal to admit the limiting political speech 60 days before an election is antithetical to the principles of this nation indicates a moral blindness.

Posted by: Bruno at March 8, 2007 10:36 AM

Bruno, please. Adlai Stevenson, George McGoverm, Jimmy Carter, Mike Dukakis, Bob Dole, John Kerry. That is just a few since we became the preeminent power.

Warren Harding, Al Smith, Alf Landon.

Should I go on into the 19th century?

Posted by: Bob at March 8, 2007 10:49 AM

War heroes are always accused of having no respect for a variety of civil liberties. That's likely why we continually elect them.

Posted by: oj at March 8, 2007 11:08 AM

All civil liberties are not equal, and neither are all restrictions on them. Like Bruno I am reluctant to support someone willing to hobble a basic principle for little or no real benefit. It shows bad judgment and misplaced priorities. My only consolation is that any likely Democrat is worse in this area.

Posted by: PapayaSF at March 9, 2007 1:37 AM