Long known for his randy reputation, Dominique Strauss-Kahn appeared to be likely to be able to return to his high rank in French politics even after being charged with sexual assault. That suited much of the media and its desire for a narrative that would draw viewers to the Internet and television.
Questions were raised about the allegations of the hotel maid who said he sexually assaulted her. And he went from being held under house arrest to release on his own recognizance. Of course, he still can't leave the U.S., but forget that for the moment.
The story is how this rich Frenchman was harassed by an African woman who may have lied on her application for asylum in America. Forget the details. Bruised vagina. Injured shoulder.
So the roller coaster took another spin. First the French were angry seeing one of their leaders handcuffed and forced to take the perp walk. He was likely to be the presidential candidate next year of the Socialist Party. Then French women revolted as the evidence built and built.
Suddenly, word got out that the maid had lied about some things, leading to the assumption that the case would be dropped and Strauss-Kahn, even though he had been forced to resign as managing director of the International Monetary Fund, would return to the presidential campaign.
Of course it was clear that questions remained, and the New York City district attorney himself was accused of playing games. Dodging his duty. He had already been criticized for a lame performance.
Facts. Who needs them? A poll found that nearly 50 percent of French people believed Strauss-Kahn should return to politics. Of course 45 percent thought he shouldn't. What kind of a campaign would that be?
It was already known that in 2007, a well-known French journalist had accused Strauss-Kahn of attempting to rape her in 2002. She says he offered her an interview, and when she came to his residence, he attempted to rape her. Her mother, Anne Mansouret, a regional councilor in Strauss-Kahn's Socialist Party, admitted talking her into not reporting the act.