http://www.independent.co.uk/news/europe/roya...Royal's bedside manner leaves the French voters cold
It is visiting time at the Edouard Herriot hospital in Lyons. Ségolène Royal, the would-be mother of the nation, is touring the wards.
A word here, a handshake there, a smile everywhere. This is what Mme Royal is supposed to be good at: retail politics; bringing the aloof, ruling classes of France closer to real people and real issues.
That is the theory. In truth, Mme Royal is not particularly good at it. She is not a natural, I-feel-your-pain, bear-hug politician like a Jacques Chirac or a Bill Clinton. There is something stiff about her, something almost haughty, like an old-fashioned hospital matron doing her rounds.