Cazeneuve’s statement urging the base of the PS to support Hollande’s “bilan” is more than a little bit peculiar. His cautionary message might make some sense if Hollande had lead the PS to an overwhelming level of political dominance, the continuance of which Hamon’s “fluke” victory might jeopardize. Cazeneuve might want to remember that on the day Hollande took over, the PS was riding high—a big victory, optimistic and proud celebrations in the Place de la Bastille, and a PS that possessed the most powerful and vibrant party structure in much of France.
What is Hollande’s “bilan”? In a word: disastrous. Hollande has run France into a ditch; the regional and local power base of the PS is decimated; the “bilan” of Hollande is so widely despised that the party of the sitting president is not expected to make the final round of the next presidential election. The “bilan” of Hollande’s government has been rejected by his party and (if the last three years of polling is any indication) it will be overwhelmingly rejected by the French electorate.
So what exactly is Cazeneuve saying? If he’s saying that Hollande was on the right path and the PS needs to stay the course; pay any price and bear any burden to do what’s right, I think he should explain why because he sounds unhinged in light of the negative results Hollande has achieved. If he’s saying that the center-right is the only viable place to be politically, I think he’s dead wrong.
Not to be beating the same dead horse that I’ve been regularly flogging but, outside of the chattering classes, there really isn’t much appetite in France for centrism and if you don’t believe me, just ask President François Bayrou.