Sunday, February 5, 2017

The unraveling Fillon candidacy

I watched all the debates of the French center-right primary and just one of their single left-wing debate as well; rather quickly, I concluded that Fillon was by far the best candidate for next spring's presidential election.

That was before everything unraveled and it was revealed that Fillon's wife had been handsomely paid by the French taxpayers for helping her husband, while in fact she had done little work, if any at all.

It appears that such nepotism is rampant (as well as legal) among French politicians of all parties, but hard to accept from François Fillion, a self-proclaimed champion of ethics. That said, I think Fillon has no excuse with the fictitious employment of his wife. It is not because "all others do it" that the practice is moral. Period.
Today, Fillon's posture is in serious jeopardy. I thought that he had an opportunity to remain above the fray and rise to the occasion by denouncing the practice of fake jobs given to relatives, in exchange for reimbursing all or part of his wife's compensation to the government or to a charity.

I can't help but draw a parallel between François Fillon and Hillary Clinton. The latter received money from Goldman Sachs for a series of speeches ($ 675,000) "because “it was what they paid and anyway everyone does it." She should have returned the money on the spot when confronted by Bernie Sanders on this compromising issue.

Instead, she chose to do nothing, cling to that dirty money, and by doing so, dug the hole she was already in much bigger and get buried in it.

Fillon's opponents, Macron or Hamon, have very little chance to win, but with his credibility on the skids, Fillon is likely to face an uphill battle against Marine Le Pen who will continue to destroy him, and in my opinion, is now quite likely to win the election.

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