For the moment, this is a rumour the concerned person smoothly denied some days ago, reminding he felt comfortable at the Hôtel de Lassay, the French National Assembly Speaker residence. Nonetheless, Claude Bartolone, former Lionel Jospin’s member of cabinet and currently MP of Seine-Saint-Denis (suburbs of Paris) is thinking about it and preparing himself in the perspective of the 2014 local elections, especially if the French Socialist Party and the government are clearly sanctioned by voters.
Although he did not officially apply, Claude Bartolone wants to be useful and show he is indispensable for the government and the French President of the Republic. According to Philippe Moreau-Chevrolet (communicant) and David Medioni (journalist for the weekly “L’Express”) on their blog “Yes, they can” (in French), Bartolone and Hollande speak and appreciate each other, maintaining their freedom of speech and action both, as it was the case when the French Speaker dealt with “confrontation” with Germany, statements which provoked controversy and embarrassment of the French government especially.
Bartolone, future head of the French Government? The man, of course, did not confirm this possibility and his strategy seems, according to me, to be quite precocious but it deserves to be clear and explicit. The former Laurent Fabius’ faithful wants to be credible as a possible PM and appears as an alternative to Manuel Valls, current minister of Interior, representing the right-wing of the French Socialist Party, another non-official candidate for Matignon. Faced with the remarkable difficulties of Jean-Marc Ayrault to impose his style and himself, Bartolone wants to prove he is able to do the job and have the needed authority. In fact, the Speaker’s Chair of the Assembly seems to be the ideal seat to deliverer his message and show his difference.
Nevertheless, such a strategy may be double-edged insofar as the will of Bartolone to be PM might bother François Hollande, especially if Bartolone insists. What is more, at the moment there is a lack of coherence between the members of Ayrault Cabinet and a real lack of clear communication, the Bartolone’s new political ambitions may be considered as a lack of loyalty and respect towards the current French PM. Such a strategy even might cause a prejudice to him, if his initiative is seen as a tackle against the executive and a political interest for the opinion especially.
In fact, Claude Bartolone, if he wants to be François Hollande’s next PM, should not only express his will to replace Ayrault at Matignon but rather explain why he should be the man of the situation as head of the French Government. To be clear, Bartolone should put forward a kind of manifesto and propose a clear and credible strategy to François Hollande. Because as him and before him, much political leaders and executives were or are thinking about Matignon and this opportunity to be French Prime minister. All, more or less explicitly, they manipulate and shape their image vis-à-vis the opinion to be ready the D-Day. But most of them, who already thought to be Prime minister, finally harshly failed as centrist political leader Jean-Louis Borloo, on November 2010 during Nicolas Sarkozy’s term.
For that matter, Bartolone might ask device to the former Environment minister, just by precaution.