Yesterday, Scotty and I were riding our bikes down the Rue Monge when we spotted a whole bunch of TV camera crews and important looking people. So, naturally, we stopped. Ends up we were in the middle of the who’s who of French Socialist leaders. As it was the evening before Hollande is sworn in as president of France, everyone seemed quite happy. We were able to get right in the middle of the reporters and politicians–security was surprisingly minimal, mainly consisting of tough looking scruffy guys in street clothes carrying walkie-talkies.
Quite a few people were gathered outside a government building where they had apparently been meeting. Naturally, they then proceeded to the café across the street where they enjoyed some apéritif, smoked some cigarettes, and preened for the cameras.
We hung out a bit and were able to see some of the presumed cabinet appointees of the new president.
It was quite interesting. You could definitely tell the most celebrated politicians – they were immaculately groomed, wore expensive custom suits, and nearly all had a tan…not really what I expected of the Socialists. Granted, as an American, my exposure has been limited, but I would have expected them to be a bit more rumpled, hair askew, unconcerned with things as trivial as personal appearance. Maybe looking a bit more academic and a bit less GQ. But, I have to remember, this is France and even the Socialists like a good manicure.
If you’re a nerd like me and you want to read a bit more about these dudes, here’s some wikipedia links. Not the best source, but a good introduction to the world of French politics.
UPDATE: Yes, Jean-Marc Ayrault has been appointed Prime Minister…