The French Socialist Party

One of the reasons I stopped covering French domestic politics following Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidential election victory in 2006 is that the Socialist Party was left in such disarray that it was like the old saw about the French intellectual’s complaint turned on its head: Sure it doesn’t work in practice, but does it not work in theory either?

The other was because I realized that Art Goldhammer can do a better job of it from over in Cambridge than I can from here in Paris. So consider his TNR article on what the GOP can learn from the French Socialists as a twofer explaining why I stick to foreign affairs.

I’ll take this opportunity, though, to crib this — from an email I sent Art back in April — as an example of what might have been:

fyi, a contact who’s a pretty savvy observer/insider mentioned in passing a few weeks ago that she thinks Martine Aubry has got what it takes to mount a challenge for the PS.

Of course, my contact’s reasoning was that Aubry and Gérard Collomb, the mayor of Lyon who Art mentions in his piece, would build an “urban Socialist” coalition to defeat Royal’s “country Socialist” base. Collomb went on to back Royal in the fight for party leadership, though, and Royal lost anyway. So on second thought, I’ll leave French Politics to Art.

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