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23 février 2007

François Bayrou dans Ouest-France

Pour la première fois hier 22 février la photo de François Bayrou apparaît à la une du Ouest-France à la même échelle que celles de Nicolas Sarkozy et Ségolène Royal (Sarkozy en bleu, Royal en blanc et Bayrou en rouge, est-ce un message subliminal ?)
Et aujourd'hui 23 février, Jean-Yves Boulic lui accorde un éditorial - dont le titre cependant en dit long sur ses réserves : la résistible ascension de François Bayrou
Jean-Yves Boulic veut d'abord donner l'impression d'avoir compris François Bayrou qui a "réussi à imposer sa personnalité -solide caractère et simplicité- et deux ou trois idées (pluralisme, vérité, pacification de la vie politique)". Le journaliste souligne que "son idée d'un dépassement du clivage droite/gauche et la perspective d'un gouvernement d'union nationale trouve un bon écho dans l'opinion"
Mais J-Y Boulic assimile aussitôt "l'union nationale" à la cohabitation", ce qui est un contre-sens (volontaire ou involontaire ?). La cohabitation s'inscrit dans la logique binaire droite-gauche et est imposée au président quand le peuple refuse de lui accorder une majorité parlementaire. L'union nationale que propose Bayrou est au contraire fondée sur une majorité présidentielle au-delà des appartenances partisanes et elle permet au parlement élu sur un contrat de confiance de soutenir la politique mise en oeuvre par le gouvernement d'union.
JY Boulic explique ensuite à ses lecteurs que le choix binaire droite-gauche est "le plus simple" , "voire le plus approprié" et que Bayrou doit "semble-t-il" (JY Boulic se sent quand même obligé de moduler !) sa progression aux défaillances de la candidate socialiste.
Et il donne gentiment un conseil aux électeurs : "mais de là (...) à éliminer (...) la candidate de leur tradition ou préférence politique, il y a toute la marge de la solidarité et du remords de 2002 (l'élimination de Lionel Jospin)"
Information ? Analyse politique ?
Roland Godefroy en rajoute une couche en page France : " François Bayrou sur un petit nuage (...) mais tiendra-t-il ?" Et à la fin de l'article : "qu'il pense aussi à se munir d'un parachute".
Analyse politique ? Simple figure de style ?
Lui aussi veut sommer Bayrou de "choisir son camp", pire il l'accuse d'avoir "l'espoir de monnayer au mieux son capital" !
R. Godefroy n'a-t-il pas compris, ou feint-il de n'avoir pas compris, que Bayrou veut justement échapper à cette logique des "camps", qu'il travaille pour le pays, non pour un camp, pour la France et non pour lui-même ?
JY Boulic accuse F. Bayrou de "culpabiliser certains grands médias", de quels médias parle-t-il ?

5 commentaires:

Katy a dit…

En tout cas les médias américains et anglais font l'éloge de François Bayrou :
Le quotidien américain, le Washington Post lui consacre un article élogieux. Pour Molly Moore, Bayrou a créé une surprise en se rendant sans escorte ni renfort policier particulier dans un quartier réputé dangereux alors que l'ensemble des candidats se sont cassés les dents devant la population immigrée Mais François Bayrou est à l'écoute, serein, modeste, elle se dit impressionnée par la stature prise par le candidat à la présidentielle. Un article dans ce journal vaut toutes les visites à la Maison blanche.
The Guardian, le journal anglais de centre-gauche, encourage quant à lui les Anglais à parier sur François Bayrou :"Courez chez votre bookmaker le plus proche", conseille le quotidien, "et pariez immédiatement tout votre argent sur ce candidat, car il sera le prochain président de la République française."
Encourageant, non ?

Clément a dit…

Les médias français se prétendent impartiaux : pas un mot sur François Bayrou au journal de 20h de France 2 alors qu'il présentait aujourd'hui son programme économique pour la France.

Katy a dit…

The Financial Time :

French rivals fear Bayrou more than Le Pen

The person Mr Sarkozy fears most in a run-off is Mr Bayrou. The former education minister is the ultimate centrist, a countryman from the Pyrenees, both socially and economically moderate, and pro-European. Where Mr Sarkozy looks alarmingly ambitious and disruptive, Mr Bayrou looks a safer bet. He is campaigning against left-right Punch and Judy politics, promising coalition government. He could unite the "anything-but-Sarkozy" voters of the left and centre.

Ms Royal looks less able to do that. She started with a rush, in winning the Socialist party nomination last November as the glamorous, internet-friendly outsider against all the party "elephants". Support has been slipping ever since. First she brought the party heavyweights back into her campaign. Now she wants to go it alone and distance herself from the party. The left is in disarray. Mr Sarkozy has put out the word to his internet bloggers: target Bayrou, not Royal.

The funny thing is that it is now Mr Bayrou, not Mr Le Pen, whom all the others love to hate. Mr Sarkozy fears his reasonableness in round two; Ms Royal worries he will attract moderate left-wingers tired of the old Socialist party; and Mr Le Pen fears him as the acceptable face of the anti-establishment. Mr Bayrou simply looks the least unreasonable of them all. Is that enough to get himself elected?

Katy a dit…

France falls for the Third Man !

Alex Duval Smith
Sunday March 25, 2007
The Observer

For months, the French presidential election has been looking like a two-horse race: would it be the elegant Royal or the smooth Sarkozy? But now there's another runner and he's coming up fast on the outside
'At the moment, I feel rather like Cyrano de Bergerac,' said Francois Bayrou last Sunday on a tour of the annual Paris students' fair. 'In every move they make, the other candidates give credence to my campaign with their displays of jealousy, their trickeries.' With just four weeks to go until the first round of the presidential elections, the 55-year-old 'third man' from Bearn in the Pyrenees, is holding his own as the script and plot writer of the race for the Elysee Palace.

This weekend, an Ipsos Mori poll for the Parliamentary Monitor suggests that he could become President. The survey looked at how voting intentions would be affected should Royal be knocked out on 22 April, just as Lionel Jospin was in 2002. In a 6 May run-off between Bayrou and Sarkozy, 53 per cent of people questioned said they would opt for the 'third man' who likens himself to the quintessential antihero of French drama.

Born into a humble farming family and blessed with a brain, Bayrou has been easy for the French to fall in love with. (In opinion polls, he has shot from 6 per cent to as high as 24 per cent of voting intentions since January.) He is described as the sexiest candidate. He quotes poets and knows them, yet eschews Parisian pretensions and still lives in Borderes, a quiet village in the south west. His house is nicknamed 'the White House' by locals because of Bayrou's stated ambition, from a young age, to go into politics and defend rural people. He now breeds racehorses and, in his part of the world, that is considered well-earned social ascension.

His campaign centres on what he is not (elitist, rich) and what he won't do (spend, make false promises). His key pledge is to handpick a future government from the ranks of the right and left, though he may yet fall foul of the electoral reality that the plucky party he presides, the Union pour une Democratie Francaise (UDF), can scarcely hope to garnish a majority in the June parliamentary elections.

Bayrou says this does not matter. Only recently, he proclaimed himself a fan of Romano Prodi's coalition government, until the debacle last month which saw Italy in crisis. Of late, Bayrou has turned to the German model which, under Chancellor Angela Merkel, works, but which was the result of compromise rather than a deliberate coalition plan.

Nevertheless, according to Le Monde commentator Jean-Baptiste de Montvalon, Bayrou may have hit upon a timely idea. 'The right-left divide has lost its lustre since the 1980s. Surveys find that more than 60 per cent of the French electorate have lost faith in the mainstream parties.'

Bayrou could benefit. At this stage in the campaign, having driven his muddy tractor through the ideological wasteland left by Sarkozy and the compromised Royal, Bayrou is now pushing them to define their positions.

After playing the good cop and even quoting socialist heroes such as Jean Jaures and Leon Blum, Sarkozy has begun using the hard-line rhetoric he was known for before the campaign began. On Friday, on a visit to Guadeloupe, he returned to 'rupture' mode, exalting 'national identity' and 'the values of work, as opposed to benefit'. Marking the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, Sarkozy expressed a kinship with 'la France du non', a reference to the country's 2005 referendum defeat of the draft European Constitution.

Front National leader Jean-Marie le Pen, currently scoring around 13 per cent in the opinion polls, had launched himself on a campaign of modest rhetoric, toning down on the anti-immigrant slogans. In the next four weeks, we may see his tack change, too.

Royal, having dithered and looking somewhat at the mercy of the so-called 'elephants' of the Socialist party - heavyweights from the years of President Mitterrand - is now pledging to be true to her own ideas. These were given an outing in Provence on Friday when she called for all French people to have the Tricolour at home so they can 'hang it out of the window on national day, as is done in other countries'. Three times last week, 'La Marseillaise' was played at her rallies and she said: 'I am proud to reclaim it from the extreme right.'

But all these strategies could be playing into the hands of Bayrou. The socialist candidate's swing into red, white and blue mode yesterday gave him, on a visit to Reunion Island, his latest opportunity to play the sensible arbiter: 'This campaign must not slip into the themes of immigration and the nation. It's dangerous when you start pointing fingers at a certain category of people, thus digging trenches of hatred between us. The two [main] candidates have a problem with this nationalistic obsession. It is as though the ideas of Jean-Marie le Pen are beginning to invade their minds. Well, they won't invade mine.' He said Royal's call for the French flag to be more visible 'doesn't sound like my country. It sounds like the United States'.

What is certain is that while the socialists remained frozen in the Mitterrand era and while everyone was watching Sarkozy brazenly transform the right wing by moving it away from President Chirac's timid imitation of Gaullism, Bayrou was carrying out a far more subtle revamp of the Christian-Democrat-based UDF.

Twice Education Minister under the right-wing governments of Edouard Balladur and Alain Juppe (1993-1997), Bayrou has led the UDF since 1998, when he refused to merge the party with Chirac's now defunct Rassemblement pour la Republique and consequently lost many members to Sarkozy's Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP). In the past seven years, the 30 UDF MPs in the National Assembly have repeatedly voted with the socialists against the UMP. What has emerged is often described as a social democrat party.

His campaign, he insists, is based on common-sense proposals, such as making it unconstitutional to present a budget which leads to deficit; creating private child care collectives; allowing people over 60 to chose retirement dates; and encouraging job creation by freeing two jobs in every small business from social charges. Bayrou says he would raise minimum pensions and reduce wealth tax, reduce agricultural subsidies 'which are murdering African countries', increase overtime pay to disband the 35-hour working week and allow gay couples to adopt children. He wants to renegotiate the European Constitution and put it to a referendum again.

The policies, which at €21bn are reckoned to be the cheapest and best-budgeted on offer, also have the feel of being the most sincere. Coupled with Bayrou's 'anti-Paris' aura, his unwillingness to bring his wife Babette on stage during rallies, his ability to address crowds without notes and his love of muddy boots and tractors, Bayrou's homegrown image has won through. An MP since 1986, he also looks like a hard worker rather than an arriviste.

So far, he has scored popularity points from not being backed by spin doctors or a massive party machine. The orange 'sexy centre' T-shirts run out at his rallies - because not enough have been printed. And times have changed: whereas he was ridiculed in 2002 for touring France in a bio-fuelled bus, Bayrou now looks appealingly un-slick. So new is he on the presidental scene that the French haven't even got around to pronouncing his name correctly - 'bye-rou', not 'bay-rou'.

His latest book, Projet d'Espoir (Project of Hope) is outselling Pierre Pean's long-awaited authorised biography of Chirac, L'inconnu de l'Elysee. In it, in a literary style that has gained him respect, Bayrou outlines a vision of a 'new republic' where power is no longer in the hands of a privileged elite, where the President is no longer a parody of a monarch and where the 'impotent' National Assembly, which he holds in true esteem, is close to the people and has real influence.

The question is not whether Bayrou appeals - he does - but whether he is simply the product of a bad presidential campaign. Sarkozy frightens the French almost as much as does le Pen. Royal inspires few adjectives - 'On ne la sent pas' ('We can't gather a sense of her') say many French people - other than chilliness. Given the bitter and overpowering memories of Jospin's disgrace in 2002, which saw le Pen run off against Chirac, the gentleman farmer from Bearn feels like an honest, safe bet. He has been able to go along way with his promise of: 'I will be a people's President, working for farmers, teachers, workers, nurses and small businesses, not for the rich companies of the stock exchange.' He has also been given plenty of breathing space and has been spared intense scrutiny.

As for this reformed stutterer being another Cyrano, we shall have to wait and see.

Bayrou may well be writing the script - even setting down the plot lines of the French presidential campaign - but will France allow a great political victory to go to a poet of the soul? Cyrano, you might remember, did not have the happiest of endings.

The Bayrou lowdown:

Born: 25 May 1951. He has six children with his wife Babette (Elisabeth), 12 grandchildren and three cats. Has a PhD in classical literature. When his father died in a farming accident, he helped his mother run the family farm while still teaching Latin at the local school.

Best of times: Now, thanks to psephological hints that he could make the second round of the French presidential elections and beat Nicolas Sarkozy. Previously, as the author of a best-selling biography of King Henry IV, who promised to 'put a chicken in every pot every Sunday'.

Worst of times: Scoring an embarrassing 6.8 per cent in the first round of the 2002 presidential election, after making the mistake of declaring early on in his campaign that he would be prepared to vote for Jacques Chirac in the second round.

What he says: 'We are the tractor set, not the jet set.'

What others say: 'He told me he ran the education ministry in consultation with the trade unions. That's why no one remembers his doing anything when he was there.' Nicolas Sarkozy

Anonyme a dit…

Roland Godefroy, pour l'avoir cotoyé dans la vie privée, est un homme de gauche convaincu. Il ne me semble pas anormal qu'il tienne un tel raisonnement à l'encontre de Bayrou.