Twenty minute metro ride from Sarkozy’s rally to Hollande’s (see above post).
Coming out of the Château de Vincennes metro station. It’s 3:15 PM and people are still arriving.
Blaring Algerian raï music (you wouldn’t hear that at a UMP event, not a chance).
Join the campaign – Participate in the door-to-door – Leave us your contact into. This is totally new for the PS. In the past only card carrying party members did campaign work. Now all sympathizers are welcome. But what is really new is the door-to-door campaigning, which is Hollande’s strategy. This comes from Arnaud Montebourg and his study of American electoral campaigns, and notably Obama’s in 2008 (which I wrote about last fall here). Montebourg proposed the American-inspired strategy to the party and it’s been adopted. I have heard anecdotally that it is working very well (which I would have never thought). I’ll come back to this later, when I have more information.
Freedom of movement and residence for all.
Arriving at the Esplanade. The rally has been underway for an hour and a half.
On stage: Aurélie Filippetti and Najat Belkacem, two rising stars in the PS. They’re great!
In America they’d be the Democratic party base.
Najat Belkacem. You’ll be hearing about her in the coming years.
Aurélie Filippetti. You’ll be hearing about her too.
Next speaker: Bertrand Delanoë, the very popular mayor of Paris, since 2001. First Socialist mayor of the city since the Paris Commune (a very long time ago) and first openly gay politician in France (if anyone doesn’t know by now). He was touted as a possible presidential candidate but I never took it seriously. Too Parisian. And too gay (I don’t think les Français moyens are ready for that yet, not in the Elysée…).
An American-style campaign button! Haven’t seen that before in this country.
Before you know it people will be wearing these in public, and not just at rallies…
La France s’américanise, hélas…
Hot dogs?! Where’s the merguez?!
Ouf ! Merguez.
And more merguez…
Does anyone seriously disagree?
Hollande pandering to his hardcore base…
I understand the sentiment and political reflex but this sort of thing does have perverse consequences economically speaking…
A supporter from Ireland.
Button worn by the Irish supporter. I exclaimed: “the French dream!” His response: “Le rêve européen”…
Hollande arrives on stage, toward 3:50 PM.
Amusing episode for several minutes: each time Hollande mentioned François Mitterrand it was rendered on the text on the big screen as Frédéric Mitterrand, the traitorous nephew and Sarkozy’s current minister of culture, provoking laughter mixed with boos. When it was finally changed, there was a loud cheer. M. Hollande certainly had not a clue.
Hollande gave a good speech. He’s solid and always well spoken. Never flubs, trips up, or gaffes. He has long been underestimated. He won’t be anymore.
What a nice backdrop for a political rally…
A rare homemade placard, expressing a sentiment absolutely everyone present (and further afield) shares.
The Socialist faithful. I don’t agree with them on everything but I like them. This is the France I know and relate to, malgré tout.
The flag of the Kanaks (New Caledonia Melanesians, who want independence from France…).
There were several EU flags. Didn’t notice any at the Sarkozy rally.
A multi-generational crowd.
Looking into the Bois de Vincennes.
Hollande concludes his speech. Big applause. He spoke for 50 minutes.
They’re singing La Marseillaise. It’s over.
Getting the bus home.