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The Expatriate Vote is Not an Ex-Patriot Vote

The buzz among Expats is, of course, the U.S. primary elections, along with “Sarko’s” budding romance with top model Carla Bruni. The two political topics seem to be juxtaposed, recalling when Hilary’s husband, Bill, was “messing around” in the Oval office with a cigar and a young White House intern in a blue dress.

Let’s face it, the Sarkozy affair, soon to be a marriage (according to the Journal du Dimanche, it’s set for February 8th-9th), less than four months after his divorce from Cecilia, is causing quite a stir among his constituents. The press and gossip on the streets may be lively about the romantic hanky-panky of the country’s new leader, but it’s not with disdain.

My guess is that like him or not for his political leadership of France, the French men are a bit both jealous and proud. This is a Frenchman’s finest show of Machismo — not the Anglo Saxon definition (“a strong or exaggerated sense of manliness; an assumptive attitude that virility, courage, strength, and entitlement to dominate are attributes or concomitants of masculinity”), but the French definition, which is more in line with Machismo being a romantic “Latin Lover.”

Okay, so the polls prove me wrong. His approval ratings have dropped by seven points in January compared to December according to an opinion poll (published Sunday, January 6th in Le Parisien), dropping below 50%. “According to CSA director Stephane Rozes, the drop reflects worries over the state of the economy as well as Sarkozy’s overexposure of his private life.”

Meanwhile, the pendulum swings on the American election front between the two top Democratic candidates, Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama. The strong showing by Obama tells me that Americans want a change so badly they are willing to take certain risks, although I’m sure many of you will tell me he’s not an unknown. Let’s face it, we all know ex

actly what we’re getting with Clinton, like her or not. She’s vying for the woman’s vote and they are both vying for the Black vote. It’s a fascinating campaign and the outcome is hard to tell.

The general sentiment among Expats I’ve spoken to seems to be that the perfect 2008 ticket is Clinton (president)-Obama (vice president) — could they be beaten? We don’t think so! This prediction goes back as far as October 2005 in an article by Tony Allen-Mills of the London Times posted in FreeRepublic.com “Not since President George W. Bush crushed the Democratic party’s hopes in last November’s election have two senators with perhaps the strongest chances of beating Republican rivals to the White House formed such an intriguing alliance.”

Americans living in France are still Americans and have as much political interest as if they were living in the homeland. Don’t be fooled by the term “Expatriate,” which doesn’t mean “Ex-Patriot.” There are more Democrats than Republicans living here without a doubt, and the organization, Democrats Abroad, is alive and well. Led by an active executive committee, it’s easy to get involved and do your part.

This past weekend, Democrats Abroad announced their new database and e-mail system including provision for Internet voting for the Global Presidential Primary from February 5 to 12, 2008. The new system allows you to log in with your own password and update your contact details. If you want to vote in the Global Primary, click now on this link: http://lists.democratsabroad.org/mygroups (You are reminded to also tick the box which indicates your intention to participate in the Global Primary.) You may also vote by mail and fax as well as in person at Voting Centers around the world.

So, no excuses, all of you Democrats outside the U.S. of A….now is your chance to use your rights to express yourselves. Let’s see a change that will bring the International opinion of America back to the level we Expats can be proud of.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

 

 

P.S. To read the report on yesterday’s coffee gathering at Parler Paris Après Midi, visit /parlerparis/apresmidi.html and mark your calendar for next month’s on February 12th.

P.P.S. This week I am moving from my apartment to Le Provençal while the living room and bathroom undergo major renovation, badly needed after so many years of neglect. Over the course of the next month, I’ll be reporting on the ups and downs, highs and lows of the metamorphosis of the apartment as well as what it’s like to live and work out of 16.5 square meters. When I leave February 14th for the Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference in Miami, Florida, the apartment will again become available for rent to Paris visitors. And while you’re looking at Parler Paris Apartments, don’t miss the newest additions to the line-up of luxury apartments, both duplex apartments in great locations: Les Portes de Notre Dame, a stone’s throw from Notre Dame, and Mon Petit Chteau, a charming garden apartment in the same building as Le Provençal! For more information, visit /parlerparis/apartments or email John Rule at [email protected]

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