The latest developments in “DSK gate” have revealed that Dominque Strauss-Kahn may be the victim of a political set-up, and innocent of the charges filed against him. Throughout this case Strauss-Kahn has been the target for media scrutiny. Every day for a month and a half the media has told us how addicted to sex he was, and that he had it coming.
Now, amidst new revelations, many have begun to speculate on his return to French politics. A few months ago he posed a real threat to President Nicolas Sarkozy, but to think that he could still be a viable candidate is nonsense.
But his political career is not finished either. He could very well become prime minister.
Strauss-Kahn’s public image has taken serious damage, and the trust of the French has all but disappeared. Even if he is found innocent, many French people will continue to believe that he cheated on his wife, possibly paid a prostitute, and lacks genuine morals. The accusation of rape was a deathblow to his presidential aspirations, as people will not vote for a man accused of rape. The French's traditional tolerance with sex scandals seems to have vanished. Many feminists will never forgive Strauss-Kahn for his behavior. Moreover, the ordeal for Strauss-Kahn is far from over, as a French journalist recently pressed charges against him for attempted rape.
A friend of mine best exhibited the public sentiment for the case by saying, “I don't care what he does in his personal life as long as it is kept private. The publicity of this case does not reveal presidential behavior.”
I have always believed Strauss-Kahn to be innocent, but I am still not in favor of his candidacy. It’s not that I don't want him to be president, but I believe he has no chance of winning. A recent poll shows that 49% of French people support the idea of Strauss-Kahn returning to politics; however, that does not necessarily mean that they will vote for him come election time. The elections may be too soon after the scandal for people to support his presidential aspirations. If he were to be a candidate for the primaries, he would probably lose.
Still, his political career is not over. November might be too soon for the French to forgive him, but given time he could very well have a high political position again. Strauss-Kahn remains one of the best economists France has ever had. And if the Socialist Party wins the presidential elections in 2012, Strauss-Kahn could be a leading prime minister or finance minister candidate.
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