Friday, May 18, 2012 at 2:29 AM
How gallant! How French! And here’s why:
Every French newspaper is emblazoned with headlines about the intriguing split between Ségolène Royal, the Socialist candidate I endorsed in last month’s French presidential election, and Francois Hollande, the leader of the Socialist Party… [T]hese two have been ‘partners’ forever (30 years) and have four children, but never bothered to marry….
(Ségolène claims that she ended their relationship because Hollande was having an affair with journalist Valérie Trierweiler. Never mind reports that she has been a consenting, though frigid, party to this ménage a trois for years.) But what intrigues me about this split is not the announcement of it… Instead, I’m intrigued by the apparent fact that Ségolène’s resounding defeat precipitated not only the dissolution of her and Hollande’s personal relationship but also the termination of their political partnership.
Moreover, as if this split were not already sensational enough, the French are salivating with prurient anticipation now that Ségolène has declared her (woman-scorned) intent to challenge Hollande for leadership of the Socialist Party – a position he has held like political Svengali for 10 years.
(“Ségolène Royal and Francois Hollande divorce French Style,” The iPINIONS Journal, June 19, 2007)
And here is a tease on how this played out when Hollande defeated Nicolas Sarkozy to become president of France:
The woman standing next to Hollande during his victory celebration last night was his former mistress, now acknowledged ‘companion,’ Valérie — which must make his former companion Ségolène doubly green with envy.
(“Hollande defeats Sarkozy…,” The iPINIONS Journal, May 7, 2012)
Frankly, one probably has to be French (or at least European) to understand this, but Hollande had tongues wagging in the United States this week when he nominated his first partner Ségolène as President (aka Speaker) of the National Assembly (aka Parliament). She will likely be elected by virtual acclimation after parliamentary elections next month.
But, as if to highlight the dramatis personae that will provide palace intrigue throughout his presidency, he announced almost simultaneously that he has no intent to marry his second partner Valérie — deriding marriage, in true socialist fashion, as a “bourgeois institution.”
No doubt this will help Ségolène get over the understandable resentment and jealousy that must have stirred in her as she watched the younger woman Hollande dumped her for standing by his side when he became president.
But Valérie must be wondering now about the security of her position in this ongoing ménage a trois. After all, not only could Hollande’s nomination make Ségolène the most powerful woman in France, Valérie is surely mindful that she (i.e., Ségolène) is also the only mother of his four children.
So who’s resentful and jealous now? Karma’s a bitch: meow….
Hollande defeats Sarkozy…