In the midst of the Anthony Weiner scandal last year, there was a predictable discussion about Wiener's treatment of his wife, Huma Abedin. I wrote at the time that cheating on your spouse may prove that you are an ass, but it does not mean you are necessarily a bad Congressman or president or leader. (MLK Jr. and Mandela cheated on their respective wives; Gandhi barely took his wife's opinion into account when he decided to be celibate.)
Paris has become Europe's leading hawk. It actually isn't an anomaly
With the British parliament’s no vote on Syria intervention, France has become President Obama’s most important ally as he plans strikes against Bashar Assad’s regime. And if the U.S. Congress follows in the footsteps of their British counterparts and votes against a military operation, France would emerge as the major military power most willing to intervene to punish the Syrian regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons.
When a French rider last won the bike race named after his country, François Mitterand was in the Elysée Palace, Ronald Reagan had recently been inaugurated for his second term, Saddam Hussein was waging a terrible war on Iran with American support, and a single European currency was barely a gleam in the eye of zealous Eurocrats in Brussels. And yet as Bernard Hinault stood in the Tour de France winner’s yellow jersey on the podium in the Champs-Elysées on July 21, 1985, there were already signs that not all was well for French bike racing—or for France.
When Francois Hollande, the newly elected president of France, arrives today in Berlin for his first meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, it will kindle memories of the long history of Franco-German partnership in leading the European Union. In France, it may even trigger the traditional condescension Parisian politicians feel towards their neighbors: the lumbering German economic giant that relies on French diplomatic, military, and nuclear savoir faire to achieve political clout. Increasingly, however, such sentiments are mere nostalgia.
Last fall, Mitt Romney alleged that Obama “takes his political inspiration from Europe, and from the socialist Democrats in Europe.” I wish that were true, although socialism has American roots as well. But in point of fact, Romney could summon no evidence at all for his claim. In the richer European countries, citizens have the benefit of a cradle-to-grave welfare system—or did, until the current wave of austerity rolled in.
After a weak showing in Sunday’s first-round vote, French president Nicolas Sarkozy is scrambling for a bigger share of the electorate—and to get it, he’s making an appeal to France’s far right. That’s because the National Front party, led since last year by Marine Le Pen (daughter of the notorious Jean-Marie Le Pen), took almost 18 percent of the vote, compared to Sarkozy’s 27 percent and Socialist challenger Francois Hollande’s 29 percent.
From today's New York Times on the competitive private life of French presidential candidate Segolene Royal and her Socialist life partner, Francois Hollande: Segolene Royal, the Socialist Party candidate, is not married to the father of her four children, Francois Hollande. But more than that, they are potential political rivals. As head of the Socialist Party, he was nearly the candidate himself, and says he will try to run in 2012 if Ms. Royal loses this time. "Certainly, without doubt," he said Wednesday in an interview on a train from Paris to Nantes.