A book based on about 100 hours of interviews with François Hollande was published by two Le Monde journalists, Gérard Davet and Fabrice Lhomme. The title “A President Shouldn’t Say That…” practically tells all. I do not know what Hollande’s intention with this book was. To improve his image, or to enter the presidential campaign? Instead, he just gave his left and right-wing rivals ammunition to attack him. More than embarrassing.
If you have not read the key points of this masterpiece, let’s take a look at a few here:
- “The veiled woman of today will be the Marianne of tomorrow”.
- ‘France has a problem with Islam’: “It’s not that Islam poses a problem in the sense that it is a dangerous religion, but in as far as it wants to affirm itself as a religion of the Republic.”
- „There are too many immigrants arriving in the country who “shouldn’t be here””.
- On French footballers: “They go from being badly brought up kids to rich stars without preparation. They are not prepared psychologically to know what is right or wrong.” “The French Football Federation should not be organising training sessions but classes. Gym classes for the brain.”
- Holland described Sarkozy as “a Duracell bunny who is perpetually agitated” and full of “vulgarity and cynicism”, “little Charles de Gaulle”, referring to the former French president and Sarkozy’s height.
- His ex-partner Valerie Trierweiler was obsessed by his ex-ex-partner Ségolene Royal. “She always believed Ségolene was coming back.”
- The judiciary is “cowardly institution”.
I have to admit that these are press quotes as I have not read the whole book yet.
Now, members of the presidential administration claim that the date of publication surprised them – when the date had been known for months. It’s interesting to note that they organized another major interview with the president for the same date. Well done…
Political self-destruction has always been a major strength of Hollande, but now he managed to reach a whole new level. This book cannot be called anything but political suicide.
Several leftist, socialist political hotshots raised openly the question that the President needed to seriously rethink his bid for reelection in 2017, because his quasi campaign start seemed to be a pretty bad joke. Meanwhile, former economic minister Emmanuel Macron announced that he would decide on his presidential bid by January. Attention, Hollande’s expected to make a decision in December!
I have been thinking about this for days and weeks now: someone how can someone, in such a high political position, be so amateurish to give interviews like these. If you have an answer, let me know!
(Source of featured image: Élysée, official portrait of President Hollande)