I’ve just tried to wake my mind up a bit this Sunday morning by reading this article in The Observer about SÃƒÂ©golÃƒÂ¨ne Royal (Wikipedia about her). The picture that emerges from the article is a strange one, an image of a politician who is sharp and competent, but has not managed to quite master the popular touch – as shown by her answer about Zidane / Materazzi. Further, while the ‘break with the male macho elite’ line is very welcome and valid, it cannot be forgotten that Royal is still a graduate of ENA and had had a long career in the socialist party.
This analysis has also led me to wonder what the major power axis in Europe might look like at the start of 2008. Blair will be gone, Brown presumably having taken over in his place. Merkel will still be in place. And then you can add SÃƒÂ©golÃƒÂ¨ne Royal to the picture? That would really be a positive change from the macho days of Blair-SchrÃƒÂ¶der-Chirac.
Anyway, there’s a long way to go before that happens… Royal has to get the nomination first, and then win, ans there’s still the small matter of beating Nicolas Sarkozy, who remains favourite according to Paddy Power political betting.