Manuel Vall’s political campaign. The 49.3 abolition: « communication error » or « political mistake”?
The announce of the Manuel Valls’ candidacy on the last 5th of December created the surprise because of its tone, but also because of its content, that seemed to be the beginning of some repentance.
The champion of the republican authority who had heated the National Assembly during his inaugural speech has disappeared, as well as the whistleblower of the two irreconcilable left-wings, who wanted to change the name of the socialist party. And so disappeared the fighter against unions conservatism and professional corporatism of all kinds, who was standing for the Macron bill, and later for El Khomri bill.
Now here is a consensual candidate, who dreams of reuniting behind him every men and women that believe in progress, in order to better fight the ultra-liberal and “social rights destroyer” program of François Fillon, the right-wing and center-wing candidate, as well as the ultra-statism and the national preference that Marine le Pen is advocating for, on behalf of the Front National.
In the middle of a seducing race, to conquer all those who were opposing him when he was a member of the government, the latest proposal to abolish the 49.3 section, which helps to adopt draft bills contested by the parliamentary majority, appears to be the last straw. His supporters immediately argued that it was a “communication error”. To us, it seems more like a “political mistake”.
Minister from 2012 to 2014, Prime Minister until December 6th, Manuel Valls could not declare his candidacy as long as François Hollande had not given up. When he was finally able to do so, he had only one month and a half before the election, including one entire week of holidays, to achieve a remarkable challenge: capitalizing on his main asset, which is being the most experienced of the candidates, the only one with an experience as a prime minister, but this implies to assume the five-years results of the president Hollande, but at the same time detaching himself as much as possible from all the mistakes made during these five years.
To sum up, he has to do in five weeks what François Fillon did in five years: transferring all the failures on the president, but capitalizing on the experience and the authority acquired during this time. But there is not only a timing difference between the former prime ministers. To make people forget his own responsibilities in the Nicolas Sarkozy’s results, François Fillon has a perfect target : François Hollande’s result. And he was able to differentiate himself by criticizing without any concessions the actual president, moving away from the former one at the same time. On the contrary, it might be dangerous for Manuel Valls to play the same game, since it could jeopardize his legitimacy as well as his competitive advantage.
However, this is exactly what he did with his proposal about the 49.3, suggesting to limit his application to finance laws. Manuel Valls was far too committed on the Macron and El Khomri draft bills, with his well-known determination and energy, and therefore his unexpected proposal appears as a political move. A move that obviously did not convince all those who fought these two draft bills, as demonstrated by his Strasbourg misadventure. A move that disappointed all those who believed in his authority, in his statesman stature. A move that finally weakened his credibility and that, as a result, is more a political mistake than a simple communication mistake.