Rachida Dati, the surprise at the Ministry of Culture

After the Attal surprise in Matignon at the start of the week, here is the Rachida Dati surprise at Rue de Valois. Last night on television sets and again this morning in all the media, Nicolas Sarkozy’s former Minister of Justice made headlines. This is undoubtedly the effect sought by Emmanuel Macron who is trying to breathe new life into his five-year term and to conquer right-wing opinion in order to prevent him from giving victory to the National Rally in the European elections next June. and especially in the 2027 presidential election.

“She is a woman who leaves no one indifferent” commented on TF1 the new Prime Minister, a little embarrassed by the personality of the woman who was able to return to the media landscape in 2020 during the attempt to conquer Paris City Hall. Despite her failure, she took advantage of her position as mayor of the very chic 7th arrondissement to be the main opponent of Anne Hidalgo with whom she regularly exchanges pleasantries which are making the rounds on social networks.

Daughter of a Moroccan mason and an Algerian housewife, she is very popular among the right-wing electorate. And like his mentor Nicolas Sarkozy, his popularity is not (yet?) damaged by his legal troubles; in particular his indictment in July 2021 for “passive corruption” and “passive influence peddling” in the context of the so-called Carlos Ghosn affair. She is accused of having improperly received money from Renault when she advised the car manufacturer as a lawyer.

If her qualities as a debater are indisputable, don’t her freedom of speech and her mood swings risk arousing tensions in her relationships with her new interlocutors in a world of culture that is quick to mobilize? What will be her relations with her new minister colleagues whom she recently described as “right-wing traitors and left-wing traitors” ? However, she herself was excluded from the Republicans last night by Eric Ciotti.

She becomes the fifth Minister of Culture for President Macron who had nevertheless pleaded in 2017 for time to be given to the incumbents of Rue de Valois. Rima Abdul Malak stayed less than 20 months even though she seemed to have the confidence of the President and pushed with great determination her major programs (Pass Culture, Château de Villers-Cotterêts, etc.). Her positions against Gérard Depardieu and during the vote on the recent immigration law have undoubtedly undermined this confidence, unless she is moved to a state secretariat, like Franck Riester who remained minister for 22 months of Culture but was then Minister Delegate in charge of Foreign Trade and then in charge of relations with Parliament.

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