The duel between the former Keeper of the Seals LR and the rebellious deputy Ugo Bernalicis at the LFI summer universities was one of the events of the start of the school year. Paris Match was behind the scenes.
11:15 a.m. At the TGV bar for Valence, it’s a general round of selfies for Rachida Dati. Between two photos with intrigued travellers, the impetuous mayor of the 7th arrondissement of Paris grinds his angles of attack: “I am the bad conscience of part of the left. My parents were illiterate, I started working at 14, and yet I don’t feel like a victim and I’m not communalized. I am going to tell the rebellious why security and justice are above all the protection of those they believe they are defending, the working classes. ” Of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, whom she esteems, she says: “His overflow of affects is detrimental to him. I can understand it. “Thierry, a passenger, returns the compliment to the one that the TV channels snap up for her banter during election nights: “Your side comes in, I like that. But sometimes it takes your message to the background…”
Read also: Raquel Garrido: “Like the rebels, Rachida Dati does not care about propriety”
14 hours. South Rhône-Alpes Convention Center, in Châteauneuf-sur-Isère. No red carpet, but almost, for Rachida Dati, welcomed under a large white tent as a dressing room. Around a table covered with pastries, the star of the day motto, not intimidated for a penny, with a host of LFI deputies. Jean-Luc Mélenchon passes a header. Falsely compassionate, he teases his ex-colleague in the European Parliament: “Good luck, I was really happy to see you one last time. “And, turning to the elected officials of his party:” Do not throw his remains in the lake, it would not be ecological! Suddenly, a gust of wind lifts the tablecloth and the copy of the “Figaro” placed there. The title of the editorial all smeared in pink cream: “The tiny right”. Everyone curls up, Rachida Dati the first, she who judges that “if France expands on right-wing values, Les Républicains shrink”. Ugo Bernalicis, his opponent in the debate, comes to shake his hand. “Would you like me to imitate Nicolas Sarkozy? I’m very strong for that, he warns her. – I prefer the original to the copy! retorted the former minister with a burst of laughter.
3:30 p.m. The queue for the debate is overflowing from the Louise-Michel amphitheater, but those who hoped for a game of massacre will have been disappointed. Forgotten, the gunslinger auntie of TV sets, Rachida Dati would almost lay low. If she takes on some disagreements with her interlocutor (on the effectiveness of minimum sentences or the need to build more prison places), she draws applause when listing their points of convergence: on the strengthening of the rights of the defence, alternatives to incarceration or criticism of the conditions of detention… To the point of overdoing it when she launches, under the laughter of the public, a sound: “Me too, I am an insubordinate! “She is still campaigning for Paris, analyzes an LFI deputy, so she is trying to make herself compatible with our electorate. »
5:30 p.m. After an hour and a half of a oratorical joust finally quite consensual, Jean-Luc Mélenchon receives the elected right around an aperitif. The former deputy of Marseille advises her not to wander around the associative village, as she had intended: “You never know, you could come across someone in a bad mood…” And if it was rather the demonstrations of enthusiasm that the tribune feared? A few minutes earlier, Ugo Bernalicis had launched to the rebellious chief: “You know, she is a real star here! » ￼