"Yes We Cantal!": Cheesy French campaign slogans?

It’s been 50 years since Charles de Gaulle famously asked how anyone can govern a country that has two hundred and forty-six different types of cheese.


Today, it’s an even stinkier conundrum: current estimates of Gallic cheese varieties range from 350 to 400 – depending how you cut it.


Suffice to say, dairy products – divisive as they may be – still hold a privileged place in the Gallic imagination.


So it’s perhaps no coincidence that Nicolas Sarkozy has chosen to visit a cheese shop as he kicks off the first full day as an incumbent president officially seeking re-election.


The Fromagerie Chabert, situated in the Alpine hamlet of Vallières, in eastern France, specialises in quality Savoyard cheeses and reblochons.


But it has the added advantage of offering a postcard-ready provincial backdrop as Sarkozy strives to “reconnect” with the French people.


In honour of the occasion my producer, Christophe Bauer and I came up with an abbreviated Top-12 list of (American-inspired) campaign slogans for Candidate Sarkozy – though we’d welcome any of his challengers to grate them up, and use them, as they see fit.


A slight disclaimer: some of these are very cheesy. But I suppose that’s the price of being a politician in the land of dairy over-indulgence.


(Just in case you want to check the provenance of some of these, here are some campaign slogans from American presidential campaigns past:)


12. “Putting Roquefort First”
11. “Read my lips: No new taxes…on Brie”
10. “Gouda you can believe in”
9. “Tough on Iran, soft on cheese”
8. “It’s the Chèvre, stupid”
7. “Give me Meunster, or give me death”
6. “No Raclette left behind”
5. “Mr. Gorbachev, tear me off a piece of Mozarella”
4. “Let them eat Camembert”
3. “Is your cheese more mature than it was four years ago?”
2. “Ask not what your Comté can do for you, ask what you can do for your Comté”
1. “Yes we Cantal!”

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