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Launches Early Start on Election Drives Mitterrand Seeks to Boost Personal and Party Appeal
[Home Edition]
Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: Meisler, Stanley
Date: Feb 3, 1985
Start Page: 8
Section: 1; Foreign Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

That slogan was echoed throughout the day. One of the banners in the arena proclaimed, "We Are the France That Triumphs." When [Francois Mitterrand] toured a computer plant in the afternoon, the employees presented him with a music box that, when the lid was lifted, echoed with the voice of Mitterrand saying, "I believe in a France that triumphs."

This, as the Rennes speech showed, will require an enormous change in his recent style. Since his election in 1981, Mitterrand has acted in the French tradition of a president somewhat aloof and above the fray. He has spoken often on television and made innumerable speeches throughout the country. However, only small groups were present for these speeches, and his television appearances have always been low-keyed and intellectual.

The first notices on his reversion to his campaign style of 1981 were mixed and partisan. Liberation, a Paris newspaper that often supports him, said that Mitterrand had "recovered his punch of yesteryear." But Christine Clerc of the rightist Figaro in Paris opened her column with the sarcastic comment, "What sweet perfume of nostalgia!"

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