In the end, there wasn’t much of a debate. The debate about the debate was more heated. Should she? Shouldn’t she? Will it break election broadcast rules?
In the end she did, much to the irritation of Sarkozy who thought she should be paying attention to him, and only him. Even election opponents get jealous, it would seem.
Amid bewildered American tourists, Bayrou and Segolene installed themselves in the ballroom of a central Paris hotel and let the BFM cameras roll. They sat down next to each other to underline the fact that this was not a traditional political showdown. The questions were incredibly earnest and serious, revealing disagreements on everything from the 35-hour week to the state’s role in the economy. The smiling couple insisted the gaps between them could be bridged.
Yet if Segolene caves in to Bayrou, what does she gain? Most of his 29 MPs have already come out in favour of Sarkozy, and his electorate are volatile and will make up their own minds.
‘He’s like the a commander in battle whose troops have deserted,’ said Stephane Baumont, a professor at the university of Toulouse. ‘Bayrou has been inflated by the media.’