At last something has happened in this bloody boring french presidential campaign: Chirac has announced that he's candidate to his own succession.
Now, I'd prefer him to retire at last, preferably in jail somewhere, but an election with no major candidate less than seventy days from the first round is very boring. The reason why only minor candidates (by minor I mean those that have practically no chance of winning) had entered the game so far is because the two major ones are both in office and don't want to look like they're paying more attention to being elected than to governing.
Chirac (RPR, right-wing, President) is probably starting first because, while he's president, parliament has been controlled by a left wing coalition since 1997 so that he's been mostly on vacation for the past five years. There's no telling when Jospin (PS, left-wing, Prime minister) will declare that he's running as well as most of his image revolves around the fact that he's someone that works seriously and without distraction. It may be another month before he says anything on that subject. I guess he'll be going for a blitz campaign similar to the one that Mitterand used in 1988.
Of course, I don't really care about the debates that are going to take place when this whole thing finally gets into gear. I already know the ideas (or lack thereof) of the candidates. Politics don't really exist during elections. What I'm really excited about is the amount of mud slinging that's going to take place, happily reported by the press every morning. Nothing like a good round of insult and counter-insult to wake one up in the morning!
In any case the suspens is already killing me. I really hope we can get rid of Chirac so that he can be tried for corruption at long last. And for many other reasons as well.
 he's been president only once, but he's also been around for ages and this is the fourth time he's running for presidency -- multiply that by the fact that until last year presidential elections only occured every seven year and you'll get an idea. Yes, it's the same Chirac as the one that decided to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hiroshima by restarting french nuclear testing in the Pacific, he got the 1995 IgNobel of Peace for that.