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Friday, 22 June 2012

Valérie Trierweiler's behind-the-scenes look at François Hollande's presidential campaign

It can't be easy being a first lady, trying to carve out a role for yourself and at the same time wanting to remain an independent working woman.

And one thing's for sure, Valérie Trierweiler isn't making life simple for herself.

First there was an apparent behind-the-scenes apology for that infamous Tweet she sent last week in which she lent her support to Olivier Falorni in his battle against Ségolène Royal.

Seggers was the Socialist party's "official" candidate for a parliamentary seat in Charente-Maritime which Falorni thought he deserved to be contesting and...oh you probably know the story by now but just in case you can read about it here.

All right, "apology' might be exaggerating a little, especially as Trierweiler's humble "I made a mistake" is reported as second hand information.

You know the sort of thing; an unnamed source and a friend of Trierweiler's to boot, telling the national daily Aujourd'hui en France - Le Parisien that she (Trierweiler), " Had miscalculated the effect her Tweet would have upon the president's authority, the Socialist party, her children and those of François Hollande."

Anyway that was last week's news and is behind us - for the moment.

But clearly, even when saying nothing, the ever-retiring Trierweiler, resolute in her decision to be a working first lady, is destined to make the headlines.

And this week it's the publication of her new book.

Actually that's a bit of a stretch too because all she has done is provide the words to go along with a photo reportage documenting something (or someone) close to her heart: François Hollande's presidential campaign.


Hollande has written the preface to pictures taken by photographer Stéphane Ruet but it's Trierweiler who steps in to provide a running commentary (in the first person) and quite frankly she reveals herself to be a lady of letters - the Mills and Boon variety with a healthy dose of venom thrown in.

Ruet's photographs capture Hollande in some very "normal" moments at different stages throughout the campaign - by himself or surrounded by members of his team.

But because they clearly can't speak for themselves, Trierweiler puts them into context in a manner befitting that of someone clearly at ease with the power of the pen.

"A private diary" (of sorts) is how Reuters describes it with the emphasis seeming to be on how Trierweiler feels at certain moments and her interpretation of Hollande's reaction to events such as Dominique Strauss-Kahn's arrest in New York.

Perhaps her best line though is left for the rally in Rennes; the one where Hollande, as the party's official candidate, appeared on stage for the first time with Seggers.

"There has been a lot of speculation about this over the past week and plenty of photographers have turned up," she writes.

"The question fellow journalists are asking is 'Will they kiss or shake hands'. Yes the man I love had another woman in his life before me. And it just so happens that she was also a presidential candidate," she continues.

"Je fais avec," she concludes, proving to everyone perhaps exactly the contrary.

"François Hollande président, 400 jours dans les coulisses d'une victoire" is surely a must for any coffee table.

Perhaps, given the number of photos in which Trierweiler also appears, three extra words should have been included in the title - "et Valérie Trierweiler".

Whatever - hurry out to your nearest bookstore now or order it from Amazon while stocks last!

Could Trierweiler be to literature what Carla Bruni-Sarkozy was to music and film?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You say: "Could Trierweiler be to literature what Carla Bruni-Sarkozy was to music and film?"

I don't think so: I'm just back from the hair salon, and I had time to read this week's (or is it last week's?) Voici magazine. Apparently, Carla is dishing the dirt on Valerie, criticising her for having 6 secretaries when she only had two.

Fascinating!

Deidre

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