PARIS His friends and family were unsure whether he should speak right away. The public stir is too recent, the media circus still perceptible. Besides, they thought, what could he possibly say? Apologize like he did at the IMF last week? Tell his side of the story? "He might not have considered just how confused French people are about what happened, one of his friends said.
But Dominique Strauss-Kahn made up his mind. He wants to talk to the French as soon as possible. It doesnt matter if he still faces a civil suit from his New York accuser, or if he still has to deal with the complaint filed in France by Tristane Banon, a French writer, who has accused Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape in 2003.
Since May 14, DSKs close relatives, his party allies, his enemies, the media and with it, the political barroom that the Internet can sometimes be went on and on about his personality, his alleged obsessions, his relation with his wife, how he wasted his political career... without the man himself being able to say anything.
Now its his turn to speak. Now its his time to say hes sorry and to offer his regrets to his family and loved ones, as he already did before his former International Monetary Fund colleagues in Washington on August 29. Then he shall try to restore his image and regain some credibility by talking about the countrys political and economic situation. Doing so, says one of his advisors, is also the best way to show that he has no interest in talking about himself.
His relatives say he will most certainly make a French TV appearance in the next ten days. Its impact will be scrutinized by polls, before DSK moves on to the next step: a press conference.
Talking about what happened in the Sofitel hotel room is out of the question. DSK has not even made a public statement about his version of events yet. "Journalists are the only ones who get excited about it, and theres no use for bordering on indecency", one of his advisors insists.
Another political aide lays out DSKs challenge: "Above all, we want to know if we can re-establish enough trust with the public, we want to know if people think DSK can still serve the country.
But some members of the French left party feel that DSK deserted them, and there is still a strong feeling of resentment and defiance from many women. People used to put faith in his ability on economic matters, but now they tend to wonder how vulnerable the man is and how professional his behavior can be.
So whats next for the 62-year-old politician, who just blew all his chances to run for the French presidency? For the past few months, the French Socialist Party has been learning to carry on without him, and several former allies have distanced themselves from the former IMF chief. Even Martine Aubry, the current French Socialist Party leader and presidential candidate, declared on French television last week, that she shared many women's concerns about Dominique Strauss-Kahn's attitude toward women.
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