Une première pour les présidentielles françaises

Feu le Premier Ministre britannique Harold Wilson ironisait : “en politique, une semaine est un très long moment.” Par conséquent, au cours des 30 semaines environ qui nous séparent des prochaines élections présidentielles françaises, n'importe quelle prédiction faite aujourd'hui peut s'inverser, puis s'inverser à nouveau, avant le vote. Deux candidats apparaissent pourtant constamment dans les sondages comme nettement favoris : Nicolas Sarkozy à droite et Ségolène Royal à gauche. En réalité, ils ont plus de points commun qu'il n'y paraît, car chacun invoque une rupture avec le passé tout en incarnant une forme de continuité.

Pour Sarkozy, la “rupture” reflète à la fois des choix banalement tactiques et profondément personnels. Les douze années de présidence de Jacques Chirac, ainsi que la tradition française d'alternance du pouvoir, laisse à présager une victoire de la gauche. Se positionner comme le candidat représentant une rupture brutale avec les politiques impopulaires actuelles est le seul moyen d'échapper à ce destin.

On retrouve cette situation dans la position ouvertement proaméricaine de Sarkozy, un acte de courage politique dans une France où l'anti-américanisme a la cote. Le message de Sarkozy est que Chirac et Villepin avaient raison en substance de s'opposer à l'aventure militaire en Irak, mais qu'ils s'y sont pris on ne peut plus mal. Ainsi, sa profonde admiration pour les “valeurs américaines”, bien qu'elle soit sincère, n'implique pas d'épouser la cause du président George W. Bush. Elle rassure aussi le monde des affaires français, choqué par l'opposition ostentatoire de Dominique de Villepin face aux États-Unis lorsqu'il était premier ministre de Chirac.

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