Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Ok I'll conclude with my personal opinion, as the debate comes to an end.

Fabius seems to be highly intelligent, gifted with an impressive synthetic capacity. However, it it impossible to know what the man wants, what he believes in, and since he oscillates in his speech between soft socialism and hard-left rhetoric, it's even harder to know. It's a pity the man has no firm shape, as he could have been a great leader. Has srong Keynesian touches at times.

DSK comes through as an economist, and something of a corporate manager. He is also clearly intelligent, but I would say somewhat less than Fabius (who seems out of this world). He really is a social-democrat, which to me means a centrist. This man is a Blairite I would say. Would probably do a good job as president though, but would not prepare France for the end of this age.

Royal comes through as a mother, no matter how hard she tries to shake it off. She sends the message that she is here to change our diapers, to make us all live with dignity. She is a sound reasoner, ie. doesn't seem to get caught in her own reasoning traps. She is definitely a believer in all things small and regional and local, and makes you feel that she would be your favourite mayor. As a president, I don't know. She has the charisma and the confidence, but does she see the big picture? She puts forward some arguments that seem to show she does, but when she does it's her own big picture, which seems quite contrary to established ideas.

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 04:43:04 PM EST
I'm not watching the post-debate analysis between experts (they will also quote political figures).

Two experts so far say that Ségolène Royal seems to have consolidated her lead as the other candidates were stereotyped. DSK was said to be elegant but avoid answering some questions. Fabius was "all to the left" but nothing clear. While Royal, a less talented speaker, always talked to "all French people" and "accepted to recognize past errors".

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 04:52:29 PM EST
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Another expert summarizes it as follows:

The socialists are winners because they organised this debate.

Fabius came through as hard left.
DSK came through as a manager.
Royal came through as a simple, pragmatic person.

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 04:55:40 PM EST
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Another expert says she incarnates a new Left that doesn't want to believe experts, a bit naive, a bit like Rocard, and when she says that she doesn't have an answer to everything she hits home with the average French person.

One said she is basically managing her popularity.

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Oct 17th, 2006 at 04:58:55 PM EST
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The Royal as president / Strauss-Kahn as competent prime minister option seems increasingly likely (and has been commented upon favorably in the business press, I think even in the FT)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 04:28:36 AM EST
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Does Fabius get a ministry, too, if he does not run for President outside the PS?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 04:40:48 AM EST
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