Tue, Aug 07, 2012 - Page 10 News List

French president’s ‘Mr. Normal’ image hit by tweet

French President Francois Hollande, left, speaks with his companion Valerie Trierweiler in Avignon, France on July 15.

Photo: AFP

A feud involving the French president’s live-in girlfriend, his former partner and his eldest son may have tarnished the new leader’s carefully cultivated image as “Mr. Normal.”

Francois Hollande agreed to take a question about the family feud that has riveted the media during a television interview on tradition-steeped Bastille Day. The reporters asked for his reaction to “tweetgate’’ as the feud is known.

It began with a tweet sent out by his companion Valerie Trierweiler during last month’s legislative elections. The tweet expressed support for the political opponent of his ex-partner Segolene Royal, the mother of the president’s four children, who was defeated in her bid for a parliamentary seat.

The tweet has set the French political establishment aflame, and turned the president’s image on its head. Widely criticized as a vindictive move, the tweet went viral and dominated news shows.

“He campaigned for a clean break with Sarkozy, but it was a big mistake for Valerie, as it put his private life into public view,” political communications expert Arnaud Mercier said in a telephone interview.









1. turn something on its head v. phr.

徹底改變某事 (che4 di3 gai3 bian4 mo3 shi4)

例: The incident has turned history on its head.


2. vindictive adj.

報復的 (bao4 fu4 de5)

例: Her mind has been occupied by vindictive thoughts.


3. break with v. phr.


(yu3 … qie1 ge1; yu3 … duan4 jue2 guan1 xi1)

例: The father has broken with his son.


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