The failed socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Marie Hidalgo, wants her chance at running the country as president. Jonathan Miller reports in Spectator World:
Anne Hidalgo, the socialist mayor of Paris, whose reign has submerged the city in debt and trash, is the latest no-hoper to declare her candidacy for the 2022 presidential election. She’s in fifth place in the polls, although these are rarely credible at this stage and currently ignore several candidates for reasons that seem obscure.
Hidalgo, the daughter of Spanish immigrants, is to run on a platform of social justice. She says she is doing so with humility, although this is not a characteristic that has so far been evident in her personality. Ruthless ambition comes closer.
It is rather obvious that Hidalgo has zero chance of finishing in the top two of the first round of voting next April. There are no conceivable circumstances in which she will become president of France. That hasn’t inhibited the usual left-wing soup-servers from bigging her up, however.
She’s ranked behind the ultra-leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Her national popularity of 8 percent hasn’t moved in two years. The left vote combined is still behind that of either President Emmanuel Macron or his main rival, Rassemblement National’s Marine Le Pen. Those two are level pegging at between 23 to 25 per cent each.
Le Pen confirmed her own candidacy on Sunday, to the despair of even her own rightist supporters who know she can never win. She was crushed by Macron five years ago and against François Hollande five years before that. President Macron is still playing coy, claiming improbably that he is entirely focused on COVID, economic revival and European renaissance, although there’s no question he’s running. There are many reasons to run for president in France, other than any expectation of becoming president: vanity; desire to raise political profile; auditioning for another job.
It’s easy to see vanity as Hidalgo’s motive. But raising her political profile from Paris to the national stage might not be wise. Her latest gimmick, imposing a blanket 30km/h (roughly 20 mph) speed limit within Paris, might endear her to the car-hating greens with whom she’s in municipal coalition, but it’s made her loathed by suburbanites who need to bring vehicles into the city, to be confronted by traffic that’s worse than ever. And it’s hard to see her left-green politics gaining much traction in la France profonde.
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