DSK’s Victory Party That Never Happened and Who Would Be Invited

Imagine that Dominique Strauss-Kahn had been elected president of France. The Daily Beast envisions a victory party guest list.

Jacques Brinon / AP Photo

Jacques Brinon / AP Photo

Dominique Strauss-Kahn

European politics seem like one prolonged hallucination these days, so here’s another: imagine Dominique Strauss-Kahn, despite all his peccadilloes, had been elected president of France. The Daily Beast supplies a victory party guest list.

Around Europe the past few weeks, voters angry with economic policy have been wiping clean the established order and establishing electoral wish lists that have market watchers the world over nibbling at their thumbnails. But Dominique Strauss-Kahnpauvre bête!—didn’t even get his chance (as a head of state, that is) to fiddle with the euro or chastise the recalcitrant Greeks. It was assumed for so long that the former head of the International Monetary Fund would have his shot at a term or two in the Palais de l'Élysée.

In Strauss-Kahn’s case, a politician with a reputation finally got caught in a situation too egregious to ignore, and it cost him his once-bright political future—providing us a measure of just what it takes to become unelectable in France.

But for a moment imagine that DSK’s lifestyle went on much as it had, but that the broader public never became aware of it. Imagine that, after a golden stretch at the International Monetary Fund, he ran for election and rode the adulation of the French public to a glorious victory. Who would attend his victory party? Heads of state, without doubt, while in the background perhaps would lurk some of the seedier characters who’ve appeared as allegations against the French politician have piled up. Outside would be les misérables, anti-austerity protesters joined by a distraught François Hollande crying on the steady shoulder of the just-ousted Nicolas Sarkozy.  

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1. Aggravating Pimps

By this we do not mean pimps who annoy by hogging all the Veuve Clicquot, but instead some of the nice fellows Strauss-Kahn met after being told that he was being investigated for “aggravated pimping” in connection to his alleged activities with a French prostitution ring. He was released on €100,000 bail. Assuming that these pimps aren’t aggravating at all, and may in fact be very sociable, The Daily Beast imagines that they would make lively conversationalists in the mixed crowd. After all, every self-respecting pimp knows how to make himself comfortable in any company, and he’d probably see a good number of familiar faces.

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2. Prostitutes From Lille

Sure, “the prostitutes from Lille” sounds like the name of a Picasso painting. But a case resulting from encounters with some very real denizens of the demi-monde led to that pimping investigation recounted above. One of the sex parties that drew the attention of investigators involved a gathering of ladies at the Carlton, a luxury hotel in the city of Lille. Since it isn’t, after all, illegal to have sex with a prostitute in France, there’s no reason these women shouldn’t be as welcome as anyone else at the party.

Craig Ruttle / AP Photo

3. His Favorite Hotel

There remains, of course, the problem of venue. Strauss-Kahn certainly seems to have his preferences when it comes to hotels, but they have also been the venue for some of his most scandalous alleged activities. While the W seems to be a favorite and a safe bet, why not the opulent Murano Hotel in Paris? While we cannot know what would go on behind closed doors on the night of the victory party, Strauss-Kahn allegedly increased his carnal knowledge of his mistress in quarters at the Murano in 2009 while associates partook in an orgy that was allegedly organized by police chief Jean-Christophe Lagarde.

Johanna Leguerre / AFP-Getty Images

4. His Wife, Anne Sinclair

For Americans across the pond, the French people’s decision to select DSK’s wife, Anne Sinclair, as Woman of the Year in one 2011 magazine poll led to groans and jokes that a more appropriate title may have been “Doormat of the Year.” Sinclair has stuck by her man through scandal and strife, however, and she would have been proud to stand beside him as he was sworn in as president of France. The vindication would have been all the sweeter for what Sinclair has had to give up—for years, she was a prominent journalist and television host, as well as an author and blogger.

Medhi Fedouach, AFP / Getty Images

5. Protesters Against Austerity

Yes, DSK would’ve been a Socialist candidate. But there’s no telling whether he would have run on an anti-austerity campaign as Hollande did. Hollande seems to have been driven by his fierce distrust of Sarkozy and Merkel’s pact, having famously said he dislikes the wealthy, but does DSK operate on similar motives? If not, anti-austerity protesters would surely greet him at his inauguration.

Hannelore Foerster, Bloomberg / Getty Images

6. The International Monetary Fund Crowd

As a Figaro columnist once remarked, Sarkozy’s problem is that he likes rich people, and Strauss-Kahn’s problem is that he likes money. Either way, there’d likely be plenty of both at DSK’s soiree, both passels of the political elite and mobs of money movers from the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. 

Patrick Kovarik, AFP / Getty Images

7. Bernard-Henri Levy

Another sure invitee would be philosopher and DSK bon ami Bernard-Henri Levy. After charges were first filed against Strauss-Kahn, Levy rose up in these very pages to defend his friend and restate the importance of presumed innocence. “I do not know what actually happened Saturday, the day before yesterday, in the room of the now famous Hotel Sofitel in New York,” Levy wrote. The details of what precisely happened with Strauss-Kahn and a maid in his hotel room in May 2011 will forever remain unclear. But Levy’s courageous defense of his friend and of the right to have allegations processed by the legal system, not a reactionary public, earns him a spot at the inaugural festivities.

Eric Feferberg, Pool / AP Photo

8. Carla Bruni, Cecilia Attias, Marie-Dominique Culioli

The many loves of rival Nicolas Sarkozy would have a place on the guest list, as well. It doesn’t seem likely that Bruni, the ravishing wife of former president Sarkozy, would leave him for a high-functioning android like Hollande, but DSK has a touch more panache about him. Then there’s Attias, Sarkozy’s second paramour, with whom he fell in love on the day she married her first husband. Surely such a detail would appeal to DSK, whose own amorous entanglements are as convoluted as the middle chapters of a Tolstoy novel. But then why should our imaginary president-elect—whose economics of romance seem to be based on a more-is-more philosophy—settle for just one?

Oliver Lang / AP Photo

9. BlackBerry

The Canadian-based smartphone maker has been struggling of late, and this might be a prime opportunity for a lucrative product-placement deal. In the confusion following Strauss-Kahn’s speedy exit from the Sofitel Hotel, allegations arose that his cellphone had been hacked by parties inside the office of President Sarkozy. Though those allegations were never substantiated and the BlackBerry was never found, why not capitalize on all the extra publicity DSK brought the iPhone competitor and have the first-ever election with a corporate sponsor?

Virginia Mayo / AP Photo

10. Christine Lagarde, Sneaking In

Assuming Strauss-Kahn hadn’t been booted out of the IMF, Lagarde would still be Sarkozy’s minister of finance, and when her boss lost his job in the election, she would, too. Regardless, she wouldn’t want to miss out on this bash, and after a brief scuffle with security at the back door would surely be able to sneak in through the kitchen dressed as a sous chef. 

If Strauss-Kahn had still been managing director of the IMF back in April when it teamed up with the World Bank and gathered $430 billion in new resources, the celebratory bash that would have ensued would have been more fun than a GSA retreat.