Officially, Nicolas Sarkozy is still president and is not still running. Nonetheless, in the field, Sarkozy seems to do the contrary and to develop his future manifesto.
The current head of State said and repeated it. He’ll rule France till the end and with determination. He’ll announce his candidacy, maybe some time in March. Waiting for his decision, the UMP members try to keep up the appearances, that is to say nothing much. The boss did not still make his decision and the ruling party has still to wait.
Nicolas Sarkozy makes a bet: he is expecting that François Hollande collapses to get out the shadow and embody a credible and serious choice.
The outgoing president also bets on the Marine Le Pen breakthrough to guarantee his political survival. His hope? A duel with the far-right leader as in 2002, when Jacques Chirac was opposed to Jean-Marie Le Pen (Marine’s father), for the run-off.
The UMP non-official candidate makes a bet, instead of being clear vis-à-vis the Frenchs. Nonetheless, Nicolas Sarkozy seems to forget he was the outgoing president, a president who wanted to be judged on his achievements. During his mandate, the French head of State exposed himself, preventing his Prime Minister, François Fillon, to really exist.
We are very far from the January, 14th, 2007 when the one who was the UMP president and minister of Interior started his campaign with enthusiasm, leading a real blitzkrieg against Ségolène Royal, the socialist candidate. We are very far of the excess of confidence and this arrogance the UMP showed during the previous presidential campaign and during the Nicolas Sarkozy mandate. On the contrary, the UMP and her allies have doubts and are panicking, waiting for the final decision of the boss and having no serious argument to tackle Hollande.
In fact, Nicolas Sarkozy would like to lead the same campaign as François Mitterrand in 1988. Indeed, the socialist president was largely re-elected for a second mandate after campaigning on the following motto: “La France unie” (“United France”). Besides, the motto Sarkozy would have chosen for his campaign would be “Toutes les forces de la France” (All the forces of France), a way to say that faced with crisis, French people have to be gathered and united, as Mitterrand advocated, 24 years ago against the “RPR-state” directly targeting Jacques Chirac, his outgoing Prime minister.
But Nicolas Sarkozy also forgets he was not experiencing the “cohabitation”, his Prime minister coming from the same political party. What is more, Sarkozy largely exposed himself to focus all the oppositions and resentments towards him. At last, 68% of the French people are not satisfied by his action, very far of a François Mitterrand or a Jacques Chirac who still managed to attract empathy, not rejection.
Sarkozy should run as soon as possible! He knows perfectly it and the latest he starts, the more the situation might be complicated for him. Besides, François Hollande has just pulled out all the stops the last Sunday during his first meeting that what Nicolas Sarkozy also did not planned!
At least, there is one thing the outgoing president planned and he is seriously thinking about: ending up his political career if he fails on the next May.