Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris Men's Fall/Winter 2015, freedom of speech triumphs

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Davos 2015: Businesses 'cautiously optimistic' in Japan

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Twitter storm as IMF boss Christine Lagarde hails Saudi King Abdullah as 'strong advocate of women'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

DR CONGO: Senate amends controversial constitutional law

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Pope Family Planning: Heated Debate over Pontiff's 'Rabbit' Comments (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Saudi King Abdullah Dies: Succession, Stability and Youth in Question (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France tackles terror

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO of Schneider Electric: 'France is on a better track'

Read more

DEBATE

Davos debate: Can big business agree on climate deal? (part 2)

Read more

France

Ségolène Royal gets her Roosevelts mixed up

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-05-19

French Socialist and former presidential candidate Ségolène Royal may need to revisit her American history books after she was caught quoting the wrong Roosevelt.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, also known as FDR, c1933 © Library of Congress

French Socialist Ségolène Royal, President François Hollande’s ex-wife and a former presidential candidate, has been quoting the wrong Roosevelt, according to French website Slate.fr. In her recently published book, Cette belle idée du courage (loosely translatable as “A Grand Vision of Courage"), Royal used the sentence, “Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are,” wrongly attributing it to the 32nd US president Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In fact, it was the 26th president of the US Theodore Roosevelt’s phrase, not Franklin D. Roosevelt, also known as FDR.

The book isn’t the only place she used the quote. Nicolas Sarkozy’s former opponent has been heavily promoting the book to French media, making the same mistake over and over again.

Though she was quoting Teddy, it was Franklin D. Roosevelt she wanted to pay tribute to. A chapter of her book is entirely dedicated to FDR and Royal said she was interested in the work and personality of the New Deal founder.

Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt c1904 © Library of Congress

The original line is found in Teddy Roosevelt’s memoirs, An Autobiography, Slate.fr revealed. And it turns out Teddy Roosevelt was himself quoting “a bit of homely philosophy” from someone he refers to as a squire from Virginia:

“And as for a life deliberately devoted to pleasure as an end—why, the greatest happiness is the happiness that comes as a by-product of striving to do what must be done, even though sorrow is met in the doing. There is a bit of homely philosophy, quoted by Squire Bill Widener, of Widener's Valley, Virginia, which sums up one's duty in life: ‘Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are.’”

Gaffe-prone Royal recognized her mistake, telling Slate.fr she was happy to know people read her book so closely.

“I quoted that sentence from memory because it’s a line we’ve been telling each other from generation to generation,” she said.

Date created : 2013-05-18

  • FRANCE

    Royal slams 'intolerable strife' at French ministry

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Ségolène Royal dependency spat mars Women's Day

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Royal back in spotlight after painful absence

    Read more

COMMENT(S)