After promising to be a “normal” president Hollande will need to demonstrate at home and overseas that he has the gravitas to be a statesman. This is critical since it’s become clear that he got many votes simply for not being “Sarko” – one of the most unpopular President’s France has ever known.
Outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy was disliked on many counts – an aggressive and brash operator he has upset many. Lately in particular Sarko’s love of “bling-bling”, his wealthy friends and his desire for all things luxurious and expensive at a time when he has been hammering home the need for austerity in France has been met with intense and passionate dislike.
Hollande has for many years been side-lined – compared to a pudding, he was referred to as “Monsieur Flanby” - a brand of crème caramel during coded twitter discourse. He has lost weight though and put on some natty suits which have helped, he has also promised to create more Government posts which has been received well. He is not Sarko. He is not Dominique Strass-Kahn the “rutting chimpanzee“ of politics, the man who would have been in Hollande’s place had he not been accused of assaulting a maid in a hotel in New York last May.
Hollande has fought a steady campaign and performed well during a debate with his opponent. It remains to be seen how he does over the next five years, and as Sarkozy prepares to pack up his belongings from the Presidential palaces and abodes he’s enjoyed and Hollande prepares to move in and run France we wish the new President of France bon chance.