Nidra Poller describes it,
Segolene Royal was nervous and aggressive from the get-go. She attacked, jabbed, taunted. She stared at him with narrowed angry eyes. Her voice was harsh. She spoke through clenched teeth. And, as I expected, before the debate was over, an issue hit her panic button, she lost control and turned spitfire.
That’s it, right? That’s what everyone was waiting for. Could two rivals in fierce competition handle themselves with dignity in a two hour face to face, or would one of them fall into a trap and explode?
Yes. Except that it was supposed to be Nicolas Sarkozy.
The first media reactions came to us on France 3. The debate after the debate. Four guests for Royal, four for Sarkozy. Two moderators.
Royal was praised by her loyal supporters who had no doubt that she had won the debate. They were honest enough to admit that she did not necessarily win votes, but her performance in the debate was dazzling. She was so deliciously pugnacious. Yes, pugnacious. And when she went into that riff, shouting at Sarkozy for minutes on end, totally out of control, and he told her, calmly, that a president doesn’t blow her top, she slammed back, “I am not blowing my top, I am revolted! I have a right to be revolted at what you said! I am angry, I am not blowing my top!” Well, they took her at her word.
Nicolas Sarkozy couldn’t fool them, oh no, they could see through his deceptions. Everyone knows how hot-tempered he is. And he just sat there, looking relaxed, speaking calmly, never raising his voice or his hand. To hear them describe it, it was almost too evil. A brutal man like that should at least have the honesty to show his real face.
iNo Pasaran! has the video (n French).
Here’s the BBC video report. You know who the Beeb reporter’s rooting for: starting with comparing Sarko to Dracula, the reporter concludes with,
This is probably Ms Royal’s last chance to make her ground before Sunday’s vote. Her performance was combative and assured. But was it enough?
The election is on Sunday.
On a lighter mode, Sarko has a wonderful voice, doesn’t he?
Update: Commenter Ricky sent a link to the highlights of the debate with English translation