Rebel candidates and bigtime scandals are taking over the French presidential election race!

I am not going to talk about Trump right now. (I read that he fired somebody. What a surprise.) Instead, I’m going to talk about the latest in the French presidential election, which is rapidly descending into chaos. But more on that in a moment.

We now have a clearer idea on who the candidates are. The Socialists finished their nomination process this weekend and have chosen Benoit Hamon, described as a maverick hard-left socialist, as their nominee over Manuel Valls, who was favored. 

This proves to me that voters in France are in a foul, anti-establishment mood, regardless of ideology, because this is surely a slap at the more centrist leadership of the party. Also, I think the Socialists have now officially thrown away this presidential election. This guy they nominated is way too far left for this electorate. Among other things, Hamon wants a universal basic income and wants the work week reduced to 32 hours. How these ideas are even viable, I don’t know. The French Socialists ought to give up.

I guess the other big news from the trail is that the Francois Fillon campaign is imploding as we speak over allegations that he hired his wife Penelope for what are being described as phoney jobs where she drew a big fat salary for doing nothing. 

Fillon is denying wrongdoing and says he will stand down if criminally charged over this, but his ship has been sinking for weeks now. His first-round margin against the centre-left independent Emmanuel Macron (himself a rebel-maverick candidate) is down to almost nothing, according to the polls. The way things are going, Fillon could be out of the race by the end of the week! We could very easily see a final presidential runoff round between, get this, Macron on the left and Front National leader Marine Le Pen on the far right. Le Pen, incidentally, is in the first round lead right now according to the polls.

If Macron-vs.-Le Pen happens, it will mean both main French parties’ nominees will be out of the running for President, and what a shock result that would be. Politics in France is going all bat crazy — just like what’s been happening in the ‘States.