Daniel Korski

President Lagarde?

President Lagarde?
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When President Nicolas Sarkozy dispatched Dominque Strauss-Kahn to the IMF in 2007, he did it to remove a potential competitor. Now, however, the French president may be trying to do the opposite: use the IMF post to create an heir and successor in finance minister Christine Lagarde.

Lagarde was on Today this morning, explaining why she was ideal for the job:

"Firstly, because I want it... Second, because I can do it.... Number three, because I would be extremely proud to do it."

If she lands the IMF job, which seems likely, she will be well placed, as DSK was, to make a run for the Elysee in 2017, whether Sarkozy wins in 2012 or not. If she were to win she would probably be France's first female president, as I doubt that Martine or Marine (Mdme Aubry and Mdme Le Pen, that is) will win next year, whatever the polls now say.

However, a President Lagarde would be an impressive feat in a country where only 6 per cent of parliamentarians were women as late as 1996, despite constituting 53 per cent of the electorate. The silver-haired lawyer-turned politician still has some way to go before she becomes IMF chief, let alone French president.