In last Saturday’s edition, I reviewed the French election. And the first round came out largely as I expected. The second round in May, between François Hollande and incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, right now seems too close to call.
Closer to home, the United States already has effectively selected its two 2012 presidential candidates. They are as earnest as the leading French contenders were cynical; as preppy as the French were stylish; and as clichéd as the French are … if not eloquent, at least fluent and original.
President Barack Obama cannot run on his record because it is a failure. There is practically no economic recovery (the first-quarter annualized growth rate, announced this week, was a mere 2.2%), and such growth as there is hangs by the thread of colossal deficits of 150% of what the U.S. money supply was when this administration was inaugurated 39 months ago. An $800-billion stimulus plan, billed as favouring projects that were “shovel-ready” (which proved to be a reference to the method of distributing the borrowed money, not how it would be spent) has been a fiasco. The president’s oft-repeated faith in the proliferation of “green” jobs was a mirage, and his championship of cap-and-trade was insane.