He May Be a Rapist, But…

Why French Elites Think DSK Should Make A Comeback

Arthur Goldhammer

Dominique Strauss-Kahn will return to a very different France from the one he left. The country’s state TV network reported that his personal approval rating, which stood at 52 percent prior to his arrest, had plummeted to 28 percent by the time all the charges against him were dismissed this week. Yet the top echelon of the Socialist Party has greeted the news from New York as though dismissal were equivalent to acquittal. Party leader Martine Aubry, who might not be a presidential candidate today had Strauss-Kahn not been arrested, expressed her “happiness” for DSK and his family, saying “we must now reflect on the truth of the facts, respect for individuals, for those presumed to be victims or guilty, and respect for justice”—as if lavishing “respect” all around made it unnecessary to comment on what the poll revealed: that many French citizens who had once supported Strauss-Kahn had changed their minds in light of what they had learned over the past three months.

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