It's certainly not easy to talk to those who are so critical of you! To learn that 71 percent of French people don't want to listen to you and that 76 percent of them advise you to give up on the ideas of running for another term is to feel humiliated, useless, undesired, and finished.
Francois Hollande is aware that people are not willing listen to him and that nothing he does seems to be effective or to get traction. He also knows that even if he had done an excellent job during his appearance on France 2 TV Station on Thursday night, he would find very few people to acknowledge it come Friday morning. The disillusionment has become incredibly contagious, and it is too late to try to charm those who no longer wish to be charmed.
However, the president is coping with this near hopeless situation in the best way he can -- with help from his friends. He has demonstrated surprising resilience in the face of a general state of disenfranchisement, controversy over the labor law, the anger of youth, voters breaking with traditional parties, and massive unemployment rates -- there are currently more than 900,000 unemployed people in France.
Francois Hollande's pugnacity during the show leads us to the conclusion that he will fight hard to preserve his chances to run in the 2017 presidential election.
The TV show had a certain charm to it, despite the strange set, which was covered in flowers. Why on earth would they build a studio in the Museum of Man for this type of program?
But ultimately, the four French people who asked Hollande questions during the town-hall style interview were well chosen; they were assertive but not aggressive, and made many solid arguments.
They were not as bold but just as pugnacious as the hosts -- David Pujadas and Léa Salamé. The four citizens took on the primary role during the show, which was rarely the case in the past. When Chirac or Sarkozy made similar TV appearances, the unknown French citizens were there to punctuate the show, leaving the questions to the journalists.
Watching, we definitely wondered if the president is his prime minister's clone -- as he was required to respond to questions on his behalf. We cannot make the president accountable for everything: The fifth Republic demonstrates, once again, the peculiarity of this shared leadership system.
Francois Hollande's pugnacity during the show leads us to the conclusion that he will fight hard to preserve his chances to run in the 2017 presidential election. He is not showing signs of giving up hope.
He did not, however, seem to be very full of praise for Manuel Valls, who has been loyal to Hollande at the expense of his own popularity. The president politely contradicted the territory most dear to the Prime Minister -- secularism. And asked if Emmauel Macron, the economy minister, would run for president, Hollande said: "He knows what he owes me." There is no room for doubt, no room for a successor. The president is still kicking, and he wants the world to know it.
This post first appeared on HuffPost France. It has been translated into English and edited for clarity.