"Valery Giscard d'Estaing has evolved from a cool, aloof financial wizard into a consummate campaigner" -- so said a report on the French Presidential election last week.
"Valery Giscard d'Estaing has evolved from a cool, aloof financial wizard into a consummate campaigner" -- so said a report on the French Presidential election last week. It might also have added that the conservative candidate in Sunday's polls has "evolved" into a top-notch shirt salesman.
His campaign strategy has involved the use of shirts to put his message across -- across some 50,000 French chests, to be precise. The fashion-conscious French have been snapping up tee-shirts emblazoned with Giscard slogans at a phenomenal rate.
The first fifty-thousand shirts had been sold by last week, with the final and most frenetic week of campaigning still to come. So if Giscard d'Estaing doesn't beat socialist Francois Mitterrand on Sunday -- and the latest opinion poll shows them neck-and-neck -- he could have another career open to him.
With scant respect for party colours, M. Giscard d'Estaing has also imported a London double-decker bus to draw attention to his campaign in Paris. London buses are traditionally red. And that's also the colour associated with the Communist Party, which supports M. Mitterrand in the current election.
Still, with Giscard slogans over the outside off the bus, and Giscard tee-shirts on sale inside, there's little chance of any Communist supporter being taken for a ride.