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Un Président ne devrait pas dire ça

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A political bomb
By Jack Anderson on April 9, 2018

This book is a political bomb. It tells the story of the five years term of French President François Hollande from the inside. Not only from the inside, but from the President himself.
François Hollande, during his time in power, was quite a character. He basically spent five years of his term referring to the famous unemployment rate trend ("la courbe du chômage") going down instead of up. Each year, he would say that by the end of the year, the trend would go down. And each year, the numbers would say otherwise (except at the very end, when it was too late).
This is the story of a man who spoke way too much and did way too little. No one forced him to provide this unrealistic deadline. And therefore, he was stuck in his own trap. He would even go so far as to say that he would not seek a second term if the unemployment rate would not go down by the end of his first term. Five years later, he was politically dead and showed his face on national television, to announce that he would not seek a second term, his face saying all, as if someone had died. Because he died. Politically. And this book tells it all from the inside.

Not only he spoke too much, but he also spoke way, way, way too much with the journalists. To such an extent that one could ask if he couldn't have spent all this time actually working instead of talking. Because days have just 24 hours, whether you are a working class person of the President of a country like France. And boy did he spent some time with journalists! He invited them, spent time with them, ate with them. And talked endlessly. The result is this book, where David and Lhomme put on paper some of his words.

In it, we can witness a very intelligent and manipulative man. François Hollande would have been an excellent journalist, understanding the moves of most players and giving advice and analyzing things. But that's all he does. He knows it all, analyzes everything, but fails to deliver a concrete and clear policy. And by over-analyzing things, it is almost as if he tries to convince himself that his actions are justified. It's always someone else's fault, but never his own.

What was the message during his campaign? Taxing the riches at 75%. That was a memorable moment, when he announced live on French national television that he would implement a tax of 75% for the highest of revenues.
He won the election on a very socialist and far-left wing message. He started on the same, and slowly moved towards the center until he famously announced that he was a "social democrat". By doing so, he lost all credibility and part of his support. There was no message throughout the term, except that the unemployment rate went up.
And never in this book he says that the message was wrong, on the contrary, he rationalizes and explains that there was no other way to move forward. He was probably right, but he should have stated it from the start, instead of changing after a year or so. His message of doing some efforts at the beginning (increasing taxes) and then enjoying the results of the policy (reducing taxes), all of that in just a couple of years, made strictly no sense at all.

For sure one of the most interesting and by far the most iconic book of the term of François Hollande. I would highly recommend this book. I give it 8 out of 10. Superb.

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