For a long time it was seen as a virtue that the French press was not grilling politician’s private lives. I think that the French public owes a lot to NYC gossip press and NYPD when it was saved from a non-substantial presidential campaign about the respective personal characters of Messieurs Strauss-Kahn and Sarkozy. In the meantime, the German Chancellor and other European leaders are waiting for an IMF leader they can talk about the euro.
After many years of suspicions and awkward explanations, Mr. Strauss-Kahn was detained in New York City that prevented him from attending a very important meeting with Angela Merkel on the very pressing issues of the euro, Portugal and Greece. A lot of people rightly point to the presumption of innocence with the arrested the Socialist politician, but I think that a person who is not capable to manage his private life in a way that is not preventing him from his public duties is not fit for high office.Dominique Strauss-KahnDSK
The problem with Dominque Strauss-Kahn is that the accusations about his conduct with women have been around him in the past twenty years. It was only two years ago that he has acknowledged an extra-marital affair with a Hungarian subordinate during the bailout talks with Hungary, questioning not only his ability to make judgements in his private life and marriage, but to separate his high responsibilities as IMF chief from his his attraction to the opposite sex. This time he was held back from a very important international meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel to be questioned by the NYPD.
It was only two days ago that the starship of the European Left-wing press, the Guardian ran a story on Strauss-Kahn under the subtitle “Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s sex life has moved into folklore – but it won’t stop women voting for him in any presidential campaign.” The French author, Melissa Bounoua thought that “as old-fashioned as it might seem, French voters tend to judge politicians according to their projects. What we think of them as men is another story.” She was not right.
Nicolas Sarkozy was distracted from his high duties during his public divorce from his third wife. In a country, where a lot of voters have cast their ballots in rubber gloves, the most important topic of the election campaign so far was the character of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and if it makes him fit for France’s highest office. Typically, a heavy-weight French fellow Socialist Jacques Atali was quoted saying
“We’ve seen other cases like this before, wrong accusations and malicious, so let’s remain cautious.
“Evidently, it could harm his career if it proves true that he has committed these acts, but if he manages to clear himself of this then it could be beneficial to him”.
I think it was wishful thinking in France that DSK will somehow manage his troubled relations with the other sex, or, to put it in a more malicious way, it was wishful thinking that this time bomb would not explode before the presidential election. A more thorough investigation may have forced him out of the race earlier that would have benefitted his party, his country and maybe himself, too. Even if he will be proven not guilty again, they way he behaves with women would probably call for therapy. And the consequences are even more tragic if the current allegation and the rumors that are already heard from many other women turn out to be true.
Just because he was a popular candidate the French progressive opposition had failed to offer a viable and attractive alternative to the current, rather unpopular government. With his alleged lead in the polls even before announcing his candidacy, it seems that instead of giving birth to viable political alternatives, France was just waiting for a savior and turned a blind eye to the imperfections of her knight.
I originally wanted to write something about French public discourse on Europe, but I think this issue comes first.
Author : Dániel Antal