Saturday, May 05, 2007

Royal plays the bee-yotch card.

Such a pity. It doesn't appear to be working!

HAVING tried everything else in her quest to stop the seemingly inexorable march of Nicolas Sarkozy, the conservative candidate, Ségolène Royal played what she hoped was her trump card in the last hours of the battle for the French presidency: her femininity.

In a desperate attempt to woo undecided voters, Royal was reduced to emphasising the novelty of having a woman in the Elysée Palace who was more than just a first lady.

“I know there are those who thought – and who still think – is it really reasonable to choose a woman?” she said in her final campaign rally in the northern city of Lille on Thursday night. “Is France going to dare? I want to say: dare. Dare! You won’t regret it.”

Some called it a gamble, worrying that Royal’s use of her gender might transform her into a divisive “symbol of sexist revenge”, as Sylviane Agacinski, the author and psychologist, put it.

There was not much danger of that, however. It emerged that Royal was being let down at the ballot box not by centrists, Socialists or any other political bloc but by the one sector of the electorate that might have been expected to rally to her cause in droves: women.

Merde! Women voters shun Royal