“… The real debate isn’t just going to be between Europeans versus others. The real debate should be who brings a genuine vision to that institution (IMF), because to some degree Strauss-Kahn saved the IMF and repurposed it, if you will.. [..]” – Steve Clemons, New America Foundation (interview on MSNBC)

Post Strauss-Kahn, French finance minister Christine Lagarde becomes “favorite” to replace him.

“It is with infinite sadness that I feel compelled today to present to the Executive Board my resignation from my post of managing director of the I.M.F.,” he said in a statement issued Wednesday, shortly after midnight, by the I.M.F. “I think at this time first of my wife ““ whom I love more than anything ““ of my children, of my family, of my friends.” – Strauss-Kahn Resigns From I.M.F. in Wake of His Arrest

Strauss-Kahn isn’t thinking “first of my wife,” he’s sitting at Rikers Island thinking how he’s going to get out of the United States and back to the comforts of France and the people who played his beard for so long.

The rumors have been around for many years, but Strauss-Kahn’s mistake was getting caught acting out in the United States, with his sexual addictions hanging out.

The case in New York City reflects another dimension of the problem in France. “If I try transposing the situation in New York on Sunday to France, I just can’t do it,” says Diallo. “Not only because the woman is black and apparently an immigrant. But also because she’s a housekeeper. Perhaps even more than her race, her station in society would probably prevent authorities [in France] from taking her accusations against a rich and powerful man seriously. Racism is on the rise here again, but class discrimination has never gone away.”

The pattern of French political behavior ““ in which class, rank and gender trump all ““ is long established. It probably had its archetypal manifestation during an off-the-record chat between then President François Mitterrand and a group of journalists. The President was widely known to have had a daughter out of wedlock, a fact that was never published or mentioned in the media. But one journalist had the temerity to bring it up. Mitterrand fixed the daring journalist in the eye, leaned across the table toward him, and mockingly replied, “Yes, I have a [bastard] daughter. Et, alors?!” The message was clear: Yeah, and it’s none of your business, so keep your mouth shut and paper clear of it until I’m ready to inform the public, if you know what’s good for you. There was no further mention of the situation until Mitterrand’s funeral, when his mistress and the daughter appeared as chief mourners with his widow.