Friday, May 04, 2007

How do you say 'calm down' in french?

This Sunday the French will decide on a President, the candidates being Segolene Royal, the female socialist with experience in education and childhood development, and the right of center Nicolas Sarkozy who promises to boost the French economy. Sarkozy has the reputation for being a bit of a firecracker, but when I saw a clip of the debate recently, it was Royal who extremely thin skinned, accusational and emotional:

But that was just a skirmish. The exchange of the evening came when Sarkozy promised to ensure the rights of disabled children to attend public schools. Royal, a former junior minister of education, raised her voice as she accused him of "immorality" and "lies," alleging that his government had eliminated school programs for the disabled.

"Playing with the handicapped as you just did is really scandalous," Royal declared. "This attains the peak of political immorality."As Royal hammered away, Sarkozy told her icily to calm down."To be president of the republic, you have to stay calm," he said. To the moderators, he added: "I don't know why Madame Royal, who is normally calm, has lost control of her nerves.""I did not lose control of my nerves, I am angry," Royal retorted. "When there is injustice, there can be healthy anger.""When you use words that wound, you divide people although it's necessary to unite them," Sarkozy said, in a reversal of his rivals' charges that he is divisive.The consequences of the verbal fireworks remain to be seen. Royal's aggressiveness and energy may aid her bid in what is expected to be a narrow race. She made concerted appeals to women, describing the troubles of mothers who were denied pension benefits because they left a job to raise their children. And she occasionally rattled Sarkozy, not an easy feat.

Jeez Louise. You'd think a presidential candidate would be able to keep her cool in sudden, dire situation, let alone a debate about school programs for the disabled.

Neoneocon has an interesting take on Royal as compared to Hillary:

Man or woman, that’s not a good characteristic for a leader to have in this day and age. Say what you will about Hillary, she’s got the cold calculating steel to handle the pressure of the job.

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