It is axiomatic that cab drivers across America can tell you the outcome of an election in advance. Well, most of the time. The last time I wrote about a cab driver prediction, it was that there was no way Obama was going to win Nevada. So I will say most of the time I have found cab drivers to be better attuned to the political situation than political reporters. Like Carla Marinucci, for example.
So taking leave from our summer trip to Monaco for a day, where I am now reporting courtesy of Apple products from the roof-top pool deck of a local hotel, we went to Nice, France yesterday morning to visit the flower market. At the train station, we lucked out and got an English speaking cabbie. Nice has a reputation as a conservative stronghold. The hard right National Front has controlled the Mayor’s office until recent years. We made small talk and then I thought, what the heck, I’d ask him some questions. “May I ask, do you like Marie Le Pen”? The NF candidate for French President. “No”, he answers, “she does not like the Arabics, they like her here, but the rest of the country will not elect her”. “Do you like Sarkozy”? “Yes”, he says, “he is a good President but he will not be re-elected because people think he has a bad temper in office”. “Who do you think America will elect the next President?” I ask. He says “Obama, not because he has been a truly effective President, but because he got Osama Bin Laden, who killed 3,000 innocent Americans”.