A President and his Girlfriend
While France’s (new) President Hollande has lived with his partner Valerie Trierweiler since 2007, they aren’t married nor do they plan to do so from what the media has told us. This CBS News WorldWatch entry comments on the French, their disinclination to marry, and the broad-based comfort with the President not having an official First Lady. Much of this is culturally normal in the French context. According to the CBS article:
The French are among the least keen on marriage in Europe. They enter into marriage in smaller numbers than in the US. They also tie the knot later – the average French bride or groom is 30 years old at their (first) wedding.
…In France, private lives of politicians are rarely talked about in public. And strict privacy laws mean the press can’t reveal much of what is often well-known in political and media circles.
This strong division between the public and private spheres marks French culture, an important differentiation and departure from the transparency the US public often demands, especially when it comes to personal background.
Do you think an unmarried President could be elected in the US? What do you think drives the mindset in France?