U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won surprise backing from the wife of former French President Jacques Chirac on Thursday, together with a pledge to join her on the campaign trail.
Bernadette is clearly impressed:
“From the first look, the first words, Hillary Clinton is a friendly, smiling person who never lets herself be caught out,” she said.
Bernadette is ready, willing, and able:
She even expressed interest in attending the Democratic convention in Denver in August. “And if I can be of any use to her somewhere in the campaign, I’m available. I’d like to go with her and I’m going to suggest it to her.”
Oh, yes, please, Bernadette! Please do join Hillary on the campaign trail. It’ll bring you a welcome respite from Jacques’s fight for what little “honor” he has left [See Saturday 24 Nov. Update below]:
French ex-President Jacques Chirac says he will fight for “truth and honour”, after being placed under investigation for misuse of funds while Paris mayor.
It’s now time for a Fausta’s blog flashback: On October 7, 2005 I posted:
Blacque Jacques Chirac’s “lunch money”
Last March I posted that 47 people were on trial for rigging public works contracts (ah, a whiff of New Jersey chez le Seine?) and that on Nov. 2002 Chirac had avoided prosecution over his exhorbitant food bills (which avearaged 600 euros (£420) a day on average between 1988 and 1995) from back when he was mayor of Paris because the statute of limitations had ran out.
Now Socialist MP Rene Dosiere (emphasis mine) sheds light on Chirac’s mysterious millions. President costs taxpayer three times official figure: Elysee Palace has 1,000 staff and budget of €82m
the palace’s annual budget – which MPs set this week at €32.7m (about £22m) for 2006 – represents only a third of what it actually gets. Mr Dosière revealed that the Elysee employs about 1,000 staff, “the equivalent of the municipal workforce of a town of 50,000 people”. He said the palace’s “extraordinary opaqueness” meant he could not rule out further serious “Republican anomalies”.
In a financial maneuver worthy of the UN,
. . . Mr Chirac also pays some 150 to 200 employees out of his “official” budget, meaning he has at his disposal a staff of 1,000, Mr Dosière said. He has calculated that some 280 hours of presidential flying time, at an average cost to the taxpayer of €5,750 per hour, are unaccounted for by his official requirements.
But perhaps the biggest mystery is the president’s salary, which is fixed not by law but by himself and amounts – officially but hardly credibly – to just €6,594 a month, less than a third of that of the prime minister (€20,206) and less than half that of a minister (€13.471).
Très cher, that Jacques.
As if this wasn’t enough bad news for Jacques, The Telegraph has this story, How Chirac ‘ordered’ his own secret, secret service
A former French secret agent has accused President Jacques Chirac of ordering him to run a private secret service to channel ransom money to hostage-takers in Lebanon and Bosnia.
. . .
But Marchiani claims that the money was transferred to his accounts to set up an “intelligence outfit” on the orders of the former interior minister, Charles Pasqua in the mid-1980s, when Mr Chirac was prime minister.
“It was a system put in place at the request of Charles Pasqua in place of the official secret services,” said Marchiani.
Marchiani said he used the funds to secure the release of hostages in Lebanon, held by Hizbollah in 1986.
“We did not collaborate with the French secret services, we worked in their place,” he said.
And that flashback’s just to whet your appetite for all things Chirac; There’s the Clearstream affaire, Jacque’s part in a coup in the Comoros, Jacques’s own secret service mentioned above, and the Chirac connections in the Oil-For-Food scam.
Captain Ed writes,
Why wouldn’t Hillary want to get linked to Jacques Chirac? After all, he epitomized European resistance to the Bush administration, didn’t he? He did a lot more than that, however. He also epitomized French undermining of sanctions against Iraq. Chirac’s administration not only demanded an end to sanctions, they actively undermined them for years, stuffing billions of dollars into the pocket of Saddam Hussein and selling him dual-use technology forbidden by the UN. Rather than have that exposed, Chirac sided with Russia (who had committed the same kinds of acts) and Saddam.
Flopping Aces wants to know,
Why is it that criminals and their families seem to flock to the Clinton family?
Why indeed? In other Hillary news, SEC Opens Investigation of Company Headed by Key Supporter of Clintons.
Was Media Really “Surprised” With Latest Hillary Endorsement?
The Paris prosecutors’ office has dismissed a suit against Donald Rumsfeld accusing the former U.S. defense secretary of torture