Dominique Strauss-Kahn left the International Monetary Fund with a great reputation as a financial leader. He was widely admired for his cunning skills in international diplomacy and possessed an impressive sense for monetary policy. While he served as France’s minister of finance and industry, the country experienced economic growth and decreased its budget deficit. Although he has had his share of corruption accusations, he served in parliament and later led the IMF. Now the question is, will he make a comeback once again? As a presidential candidate, probably not. Another position in national politics? Maybe.
As new developments surfaced last week on his accuser’s disreputable past, talk about Strauss-Kahn’s return to public office has become widespread. In fact, the Socialist Party’s leadership in France certainly continues to welcome Strauss-Kahn’s return to politics. The July 13 deadline for candidates will force the socialists to choose their contender and there have been hints at possibly delaying the deadline in the event that Strauss-Kahn would continue his bid for president.
However, he will most likely decline such an offer. The charges that he faces have stained his reputation and have left the French public questioning the predatory sexual behavior of men in politics. Maintaining his bid for president will only prolong a sure suicide mission. France is famously tolerant of their politicians’ sexual misdeeds, but Strauss-Kahn’s current circumstances have surpassed any previous scandal.
It is impossible for the former financial leader to achieve the political goals he envisioned prior to his arrest for attempted rape. A return to French national politics is only probable because of the strong ties he has held with key players in the Socialist party. Yet to an individual who served as a key player in international economic policy, a return to national politics may not be entirely appealing. As the head of the IMF, Strauss-Khan was able to focus on important global issues and had the ear of presidents around the world. It is doubtful that revisiting the work of a locally elected official will compare to what he has experienced the past four years.
Although the rape case against him has weakened, this certainly does not mean that he isn't guilty. Regardless of the outcome, Strauss-Khan's interaction with women is notoriously negative. In the past month, female journalists and politicians in France have revealed their discomfort when dealing with Struass-Khan on a professional level. In a world where women are rarely represented in public office, such behavior is absolutely unacceptable.
If Strauss-Kahn decides to forfeit a future in politics hereafter, France will definitely lose a skilled politician. But it will also rid itself of a chauvinist.
Photo Credit: seamus_walsh