Thursday, March 15, 2007

Presidential candidate stutters


Here is an interview of the French presidential candidate, François Bayrou.

According to wikipedia, he has a real fighting chance. Aaaaallez-y Fr--rrancois!

M. Bayrou was eliminated in the first round of the 2002 Presidental elections with a fourth place showing of 6.84%

In 2007, he decided to try again and as of early March is polling a surprise third place behind front-runners Nicolas Sarkozy of the UMP party and Segolene Royal of the Parti Socialiste.

The latest CSA poll puts his first-round support at 21%, slightly behind Sarkozy at 27% and Royal at 26%. Other polls have confirmed that Bayrou is in striking distance of forcing Royal out of the second round and competing head-to-head with Sarkozy. Such a scenario would favour Bayrou as his centrist position would allow him to garner left-wing votes that would see him as the least bad option.

15 comments:

Einar said...

What action do you recommend now? Should we start a lobby to get stutterers world-wide to apply for french citizenship in time for the election, get the guy elected, and turn France into the first stuttering republic? ;-))

adrian said...

I don't understand french so maybe I missed it, but I did not hear any stuttering in the interview (although the interviewer was a bit disfluent, lol). Does Bayrou still stutter or is he another one of these people who stuttered as a child that the stuttering community is trying to claim as their own?

Tom Weidig said...

Yes Einar, and we make you Minister for Salsa! :-)

Adrian: Yes, he talks about stuttering (begaiement). He says that he has learned to control it, and speaks slower and without haste.

adrian said...

Tom, thanks that is good to know. I get tired of stuttering groups who publicize celebrities who stuttered only as children. Their experience is just not relevent to most of us.

I applaud Bayrou for publically discussing his stuttering. He may truly be "one of us."

Einar said...

As far as I know Winston Churchill only stuttered as a child and teenager, right?
Hm, as far as I can see Bayrou is a "ex-stutterer" too...
http://lamouette.blog.lemonde.fr/2007/03/02/francois-bayrou-entre-ruralite-et-modernite/http://arnaudmunoz.vox.com/library/posts/tags/bayrou/
http://ednat.canalblog.com/archives/2006/09/30/2798249.html

adrian said...

I have heard conflicting stories, but my understanding is Churchill's stuttering was an issue his entire life although it was not evident in his speaking. I have no issue with ex-stutterers being embraced by our community if the stuttering was once a significant issue in their life. But I am bothered by our community trying to embrace people like Tiger Woods who stuttered for a few months as a child. Other famous ex-stutterers who are often mentioned did not even stutter into their teenage years. How is this relevent to those of us who stutter into adulthood?

Law Student said...

It's annoying to me, as well, Adrian, when certain lists include people who only stuttered during what might be construed as a childhood "phase" like what my son did for about a month. Also, when they include people who could only be construed as "stutterers" in a marginal manner. It's misleading, to say the least.

AAAlbert said...

I agree with you guys that the stuttering society's using the "stuttering" celebrities to set up models for people like you and me may be wrong and harmful. The point is, other than those sports/writing/science guys, almost no person can chase great success in politics and business world. We have the right to stutter, since it is out of our control and is not our fault. However, by setting up these models, it looks like we did not succeed because we did not work hard enough. That is, obviously, unfair.

Law Student said...

Aaalbert nailed it exactly: "However, by setting up these models, it looks like we did not succeed because we did not work hard enough. That is, obviously, unfair."

Tom, check out my latest entry...a new "device". I'd love to see what you make of this.

adrian said...

Aaalbert does make an important point. Tiger Woods recently spoke briefly on 60 Minutes about how he stuttered briefly as a child and overcame it through hard work and a competitive spirit. Jane Fraser, the president of the Stuttering Foundation, quickly latched on to this and responded with the following comment,

"The parallels between speech performance and sports performance are striking, and Tiger Woods is the latest example of how the many hours of practice and hard work to win in sports are no different from those long hours spent in therapy for stuttering.”

There is no evidence that hard work and a competitive spirit lead to stuttering recovery. In fact, the latest research suggests recovery in children in genetically predetermined. The message this sends to stuttering children is very disturbing and is setting these children up for failure.

The full article is at the link below.

http://www.stutteringhelp.org/Default.aspx?tabid=499

Law Student said...

Adrian, that statement by Jane Fraser bothered me a lot. I just made an entry on my blog about it.

Einar said...

Every stutterer stutters differently and it's impossible to promise recovery by linking it to practise and hard work, as the outcome is in any case open. Practise and hard work are essential for progress, but insisting too much on them can lead to too much pression, too high expectations, disillusion and failure... What is as important as practise and hard work is perseverance and acceptance of the condition.

Law Student said...

Exactly. If Tiger Woods doesn't win a competition, the obvious conclusion is that he needed more training or didn't work hard enough. Do we want to send that message to impressionable children who stutter? The obvious conclusion of Jane's statement is that if you don't beat stuttering through hard work in therapy...then you didn't work hard enough. NOT good.

Anonymous said...

Aaalbert said "... almost no person can chase great success in politics and business world. "

There is an excellent example of successful PWS in Croatia. The Governor of the Croatian National Bank stutters severly. He was reappointed last year for the second six-year term. Every year he gives report to the Parliament in front of all MPs and media.
He is a good model for all who stutter, isn't he?

Keith Sharp said...

Churchill's stutter: a selection of 1930s and later comments on it at www.stutterers.org

Keith