Kind of an ironic combination, isn't it? Segolene Royal has won the Socialist party's nomination for president of France. She rather handily beat out two challengers, apparently and will stand in the next election. Interestingly, her win was based on bucking the traditional system of French politics where candidates are decided on in Gauloise smoke-filled rooms. She made an appeal directly to the voters and won when the votes got counted.
The win means Royal will avoid a possibly divisive second round ballot against former Prime Minister Laurent Fabius and former Finance Minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn — two members of the party's old guard who had challenged her.
"The results show rather clearly the fact that there will only be one round, and we can say that Segolene Royal is already the candidate for the Socialist Party," said Stephane Le Foll, chief of staff to the party's general secretary.
He said he was basing those comments on official results from 64 regions, representing more than a third of the 219,000 Socialist party members who were eligible to cast ballots in the so-called "primary."
Royal, speaking confidently shortly before her victory was announced, said she "recognized the honor I have been given," and "the momentum I've received to be chosen this way."
She may have done well in the primary based on her performance in the six debates. Or the win may have had more than a bit to do with a bikini raising her name recognition. But whatever. At least she's easier on the eyes than Jacques Chirac who, on a good day, looks rather a lot like our founder. (On a bad day, he also looks like our founder, only from the reverse angle.)