HE WAS HOLDING FORTH on the perils of being a French journalist in 2004 America. I was buying my 20th small pizza--a necessity since the fourth floor of the Fleet Center has been red-lined when it comes to decent food outlets and I can't stray too far from the microphone during show time.
So I asked Regis Le Sommier, U.S. bureau chief for Paris Match, if he wouldn't like to experience American talk radio. Luck would have it that Regis had covered a California recall campaign rally at which I introduced then-candidate Schwarzenegger last fall, and he was game.
So for three hours, Regis held forth on all manner of subjects, from a French perspective. Among his opinions: Chirac's involvement with Saddam was no different from Rumsfeld's; there was no discernible impact of American anger on French exports of wine; Bush's cowboy approach to the world just isn't working; and John Kerry's ability to speak French--even with an atrocious American accent--would serve him well.
And, yes, that Frenchmen overwhelmingly prefer Kerry to Bush.
Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist and uber-blogger James Lileks was listening as he prepared dinner. James has freedom of my electronic city, and he called in to discuss Regis' perspective on American politics and U.S.-French-Iraq history. Regis and James did not hit it off. Read about it here.
Point being? John Kerry really does enjoy the admiration of the French. Regis wasn't making it up--his arguments are the arguments of America's Michael-Moore left. Kerry wants to escape this fan club, but it's there. Beware the candidate who enjoys the applause of Paris Match editors and writers.
Hugh Hewitt is the host of a nationally syndicated radio show, and author most recently of If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends Upon It. His daily blog can be found at HughHewitt.com.
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