Francois Hollande of course, who takes office tomorrow. In a piece with a large picture of DSK and entitled "the debt the French Left owes to Nafissatou Diallo" (the chambermaid, remember?) and which begins by saying that a statue of her should be put up, the newspaper (which has a philosophy corrrespondent btw) disses DSK all round the houses and praises Francois Hollande's political flair - which we have not had a chance to observe yet. If Diallo had not raised the complaint she did, causing the police to be called, it says, the affair of the parties in Lille at which prostitutes were present, attracting an action for "proxenetisme" (pimping) against DSK (he says he didn't know they were prostitutes) might have hit the public domain during the primaries, or worse, during the presidential campaign. Well yes, it might. But was it the left which removed DSK as candidate? I think not. There is some evidence that it was in fact Sarko's people. We may never know. But there is no evidence, nor any likely to emerge, that it was anyone close to Francois Hollande or the Parti Socialiste.
Julien Dray, a Socialist deputy, a man of the left (also a Jew and a freemason and someone who was sufficiently out of favour with the PS leadership in recent times, over matters financial as it happens, though no evidence of wrongdoing was found, to be deselected as candidate for the regional elections) had a birthday party on 28th April, during the presidential campaign, to which he invited many senior PS figures - including Francois Hollande. Who didn't go, because he found out DSK and his wife were going to be there. How embarrassing that would have been, trills Le Monde, although it does note in the same paragraph that the whole campaign was darkened by the shadow of DSK. Embarrassing for Francois Hollande to be upstaged, is more like it.
In February 2011, before the Sofitel affair broke, DSK allegedly met Hollande in Paris in a borrowed flat, and asked him if he, Hollande, would stand against him, DSK, as he, DSK, was considering putting his name forward. According to DSK's friends, Hollande gave a non-committal and equivocal answer. According to Hollande's friends, Hollande said "I'm taking it all the way, and I'm going to beat you". Hmmm. Hollande managed to fight the whole campaign without once mentioning DSK, although provoked many times. Sarko mentioned him before the campaign proper started, describing Hollande as a second-choice candidate, and then not until 2nd May, between the two rounds of voting, when he felt threatened and judged the DSK brand toxic enough to change voters' minds - he said he would "take no lessons from a party which had rallied round DSK". He was wrong in that judgment, as the result shows us, and you can interpret that as you wish. I know how I do. Namely that the brand was not that toxic. Which says to me that the French public could have supported DSK. We'll never know now.
The piece, by Ariane Chemin, ends by citing Sarko, on 13th May 2011, just before the Sofitel affair took place, as saying to journalists that Hollande was lucky, because DSK was a product not to be found on this earth (hard to translate, that bit) and "comme un ovni qui arrive" ("like a UFO coming in to land"). Sarko allegedly then scanned the horizon, hand over the eyes, as if looking for an approaching craft. The next day flight AF023 came in from New York, with a seat booked in the name of Dominique Strass-Kahn. DSK wasn't on it.
And so we are on the eve of the handover to President - Hollande.