France: A Not Unspeakable Pain

For a man who had just lost 40 seats in the National Assembly, President Charles de Gaulle was in remarkably good spirits. Summoning his Cabinet to the Elysee Palace less than 72 hours after the close of last week's elections, the great man greeted his ministers with friendly compassion instead of the outsize wrath he has displayed on former occasions when his team let him down.

He even asked each of the Cabinet's 28 members to give a blow-by-blow account of his own electoral battles, delivered a wryly appropriate quote from Vergil when...

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