‘Apparently she might not come,’ I was informed by grumpy journalists as soon as I arrived for a joint press conference with Segolene and Former Health Minister Bernard Kouchner at the Socialist party headquarters. Sure enough ‘la star’ failed to show.
Kouchner attempted to fill the void by presenting his alternative to Royal’s boot camps for unruly teenagers: civic service training with charities or state services. Journalists were waiting for the overdue announcement of Segolene’s new campaign team.
‘Will you be part of the team?’ the former doctor was asked. He didn’t know.
Sarkozy had named Kouchner as a Socialist he could work with, and I asked the founder of Medicins sans Frontiers whether he’d be willing to work with Segolene’s competitor if she failed to win the elections. While he didn’t seem particularly enthusiastic about the idea, he failed to rule it out either.
‘Beware of opinion polls,’ he said.
‘You always ask impertinent questions,’ said one of the press attaches as we edged out of the chilly tent erected in the middle of party HQ.
‘I’ve been accused by the Elysee of impertinence, but I never thought I’d hear it from the Socialist party,’ I said.
He grinned. ‘Oh it’s not a reproach. I like your questions.’