So it's over... I can't hide my disappointment, especially considering how promising the second round was, and how it was analysed by some friend of mine...
Basically, I knew Hollande was going to win easily until the last week of campaign, and since then I've stupidly started to hope Aubry could pull a comeback (which was of course almost impossible for her). After all, I'm so used about people doing the wrong choice and putting personality and vagueness above competence and dedication, that I shouldn't even be complaining. Now, of course, I won't start saying Aubry was a great politician who would have been a formidable President : she had her flaws, maybe more of those than other candidates. She obviously doesn't come close to Jospin. But still, just like we did in 2002, we have kicked out of the race the candidate who would have been the best actual President. As Fabien certainly knows, the great Rocard put it better than anybody : "the qualities that make you able to win a presidential election are uncompatible which those that make you a good President".
Rocard was thousand times right, even though I still cherish inside mylself the staunch hope to eventually prove him wrong.
Now, let's stop whining, and look at the bright sides. Because there are. In my rationalist mood, I already started to list them before the election, in order to minimize a possible disappointment. So, here there are :
- First of all, this is a strong win. It's of course a bit sad for Aubry, but honestly, a 56% win for Hollande is by far preferable to a 50.1% win for him. This clear and straight win definitely kills any attempt by the UMP to delegitimize the candidate (of course, they would have tried to do if the margin had been narrower). Also, it helps giving the new candidate a momentum which he can keep for a few months (hopefully until the decisive december-february period).
- A Hollande victory leaves also far less potential to internal PS divisions. If Aubry had pulled a win (besides the fact such a win would have been quite narrow, see above), it would certainly had left far more serious wounds among the ex-future-winner. Hollandists would be extremely bitter to see their candidate losing after leading during the whole campaign, especially after Aubry's abrasive campaign in these last days. So they would be tempted to undermine her support, or at least not to help her as much as she will help Hollande now. Since Aubry is above all a party woman, she will remain loyal to the party's candidate (her last night's speech, extremely unambiguous, already proves it). As for Hollandists, they have no business starting a "long knives night" before even being sure of victory, and they know Aubry's help will be decisive especially for negociating with other parties.
- With this final campaign, Hollande has proven he can reply in an intelligent way when attacked. I (but Fabien too) clearly underestimated him when I thought he would be unable to frontally fight with Sarkozy. While Aubry is still stronger than him, he can do better than what he's shown us initially, and this will be a great asset for the actual campaign. His quiet and resolute style has worked well enough to convince left-wingers he was credible, and hopefully it will be the same with the whole France.
- As much as I dislike this argument, Hollande has strong intrinsecal assets to defeat Sarkozy. His appeal to centrist voters (especially now that Borloo retired), but also it's rural strength and his image of a quiet, modest, "normal" guy, could be a key for victory. Besides the obvious, simplistic arguments that has earned him so much support ("he's higher in polls !"), he has good characteristics for a candidate, especially against a sectarian President like Sarkozy.
- Hollande's team includes extremely clever, competent and good-willing people (Moscovici, Sapin...). Even though Hollande himself can be attacked as "too soft" those people will definitely do a great job as his ministers (Moscovici as PM ? Well, maybe I'm dreaming, but it would be a great pick
). Aubry's team on the other hand was in great part filled with depressing apparatchiks like Fabius. Of course there are also good guys in Aubry's team and failures in Hollande's, but overall Hollande's seems better.
- Finally, Hollande's ability to attract local "notables" might be a very strong asset once he's in government. Once in power, the left will have to manage a left-wing Senate and overwhelmingly left-wing local institution. Maybe, having a "provincial" president might help keeping in touch with this "municipal socialists", making sure they remain loyal to the national majority and that their voice is heard into there. Of course this is also a drawback (what will he actually do against multiple officeholding ?), but a PS government can't afford losing the support of its local grassroots.
OK, so here is all I found, and I can say I've tried hard to find all this.
I obviously won't deny I was very disappointed, but the general election is aproaching and we can't afford looking back. The only thing that matters is defeating Sarkozy in 2012, and with Hollande we have more than decent chances to succeed. Now, the most important. Mr. Hollande, François, a lot of left-wing people have voted for you because they thought you were the best candidate against Sarkozy. Without "vote utile", Aubry would probably have won. Listen, you were selected because we want you to win. So, you f**king got to beat Sarkozy in 2012. Or I swear God you'll pay.