Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Politics (As Usual?)
Then you've got former president Jacques Chirac up to his hips in trouble for allegedly paying city salaries to employees of his political party (the UMP) back when he was mayor of Paris in 1992-1995. The law couldn't touch him when he was president of the country (imagine that, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton). But now that he's a private citizen again, the judicial process has re-engaged.
Over at the Elysée, things seemed to have calmed down a bit since last week when the President had to send his minister of foreign affairs packing because she took some free flights and helped her parents get a preferential real estate deal in Tunisa -- at a time when the country was simmering with protests against now deposed leader Ben Ali. Technically what she was doing was not against the law but the public relations fall out was pretty bad. Sarkozy called in the reinforcements, reorganizing his cabinet with a bunch of old friends who will stand firm with him as he tries to rehabilitate his sorry poll numbers. That cabinet, which once looked like a picture of racial, gender, and even political diversity, now looks pretty much like a club of middle aged white men. Yeah, and all those photos of Moammar Qaddafi's official visit to France back in 2007 (complete with a tent pitched on the grounds of the Hotel Marigny, where official visitors stay)? They're no longer anywhere to be found on the official Web site. At least Mike Huckabee can't accuse President Obama of letting Qaddafi camp out on the White House lawn.