Savoring Victory, Royal Readies for '07 ; France's First Female Major-Party Presidential Candidate Gets Set to Take on Tough-Talking Nicolas Sarkozy

By Susan Sachs Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, November 2, 2006 | Go to article overview

Savoring Victory, Royal Readies for '07 ; France's First Female Major-Party Presidential Candidate Gets Set to Take on Tough-Talking Nicolas Sarkozy


Susan Sachs Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


How do you compete with mom, flag, and apple pie?

That's the American version of the question facing France's conservatives, now that Segolene Royal has emerged as the Socialist Party's candidate for president in 2007.

Ms. Royal, who trounced two male opponents in the Socialist primary last Thursday to become the first woman to represent a major party in a national campaign, embodies just about every iconic virtue that French culture holds dear.

She is a mother - of four. She is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale d'Administration, the exclusive academy that has forged France's government elite for the past half-century. She is the daughter and granddaughter of career military men. She was raised in a strict Catholic home.

She is also ladylike, attractive, and - to top it all off - fond of dressing all in white.

"The image is of purity, almost religious, like Joan of Arc," says Marc Abeles, a social anthropologist in Paris who has studied the rituals of French politics for years. "This is a formidable image to present to voters, especially to those in the center- right."

That appeal to the center-right could be the key to victory for Royal, whose chief opponent in the April 22 presidential election is likely to be Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, the tenacious leader of the main right-wing party Union for the Progressive Movement (UMP).

But with opinion polls consistently showing "Sego" and "Sarko" running neck and neck, the challenge for both candidates will be to find ways of attracting traditionally fickle voters on the far ends of the political spectrum without offending wavering centrists.

Already, both Royal and Sarkozy present themselves as crusading agents of change, order, and decentralization. They have expressed similarly tough views on how to address core concerns like crime and juvenile delinquency.

Royal has even flirted with free-market ideas and expressed admiration for Britain's Tony Blair, positioning herself - ironically - closer to Sarkozy than to the ideological Old Guard of the Socialist Party, if only slightly.

One of the tasks facing Royal and Sarkozy in the five months of campaigning to come will be to differentiate their views and proposals. Until the contrasts become clearer, image could count for a lot.

Sarkozy's scrappy law-and-order reputation has developed in the public eye for many years and can't be changed much, while Ms. Royal still has a chance to refine her profile, according to Mr. Abeles.

"Segolene Royal, with her religious family background and all, may incarnate the values of purity and that will reassure some on the right," he said. "But she can't go too far with that or she will turn off the secular middle class, which is also an important voting group."

Both candidates face significant dissension in their own ranks and party loyalty is far from absolute in any case. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Savoring Victory, Royal Readies for '07 ; France's First Female Major-Party Presidential Candidate Gets Set to Take on Tough-Talking Nicolas Sarkozy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.