What did he do? No, he is not becoming more capitalist. Rather, Hollande chose to take a private jet to cover the distance it would have taken him five hours to drive, despite his campaign promise to live like the common man and take trains if elected.
According to the Daily Mail, the jet costs close to $20,000 USD an hour, and Hollande's campaign treasurer has labeled the criticism "ridiculous!"
The treasurer continued: "in terms of numbers, the plane cost relatively little..."
This, critics say, from the man who supports a 75% income tax on the rich. Why should they sacrifice the majority of their income to the state, they ask, so a hypocritical president can live in luxury? It would be different if he were not so harsh on the rich, but his personal lifestyle and political beliefs are seemingly already at odds.
Facing charges of being a "champagne socialist" just days into his term, international critics are saying this exemplifies why socialism has yet to succeed. While proponents of the ideology maintain it has never been implemented properly, others argue that, unless you change human nature, it can't be implemented properly. There are just too many people who will take off in a private jet at their constituents' expense-- even if they have just spent months promising to ameliorate the debt and reform the "bling, bling" presidency they succeed.
A better system, they argue, is one where anyone can fly on a private jet if they work hard enough, or are lucky enough. Some will succeed, some won't, but the population won't be trapped in big-government poverty so a so-called socialist can live in luxury.
In his own defense, Hollande maintains that there was no train between the two locations at the time he needed one, and he had to thank his supporters in both Paris and Tulle, personally.
Never mind that the socialist, who maintains that everyone should be treated equally, would likely have asked others to wait for the next train, or choose just one city to celebrate in.
Nonnnn! one Frenchman wrote in disappointment on Twitter.
It will be interesting to see whether Hollande reforms his early habits, or whether he follows the lead of many socialist leaders before him and lives in luxury, while his constituents are broke.