Hollande retakes the initiative

While campaigning in Bayonne over the weekend, French president Nicolas Sarkozy was ignominiously forced to take refuge in a local bar when Basque separatists and other protestors started throwing eggs at the beleaguered French leader, shouting in Basque dialect, “Nicolas kampora!” — Nicolas get out! 

A far cry from the start of the election, when Sarkozy seemed to take the initiative in the campaign and define the terms of the presidential race for the first time, buoyed by the confidence of European leaders across the continent, including German chancellor Angela Merkel.  In the immediate aftermath of his campaign announcement, Sarkozy also bounced somewhat upward in the polls — and as recently as last week, polled just 1.5% behind frontrunning Parti socialiste candidate François Hollande. Continue reading Hollande retakes the initiative

Bibi and the duck

Since the landmark 1996 election when Benjamin Netanyahu first became a world figure by defeating Shimon Peres to become Israeli prime minister, I’ve been fascinated by his ability to remain in the center of Israeli politics for nearly two decades — in his bellicosity and in his tenacity, he reminds me of Israel’s version of Richard Nixon.

Not to make light of the deadly serious three-way dance going on among the United States, Israel and Iran over Iran’s nuclear program (and the potential US and Israeli military response to it), which could have wide-ranging impacts on the politics of all three countries and the world beyond, I found this video fabulously hilarious, which mashes up Netanyahu’s speech yesterday to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee with Daffy Duck.

File it alongside the Putin/Mr. Burns parody from last week.

BBC News explores the duck analogy in greater detail here.