Il a pris un bain de foule.
ee lah pree uh baad FOOL. Click below to hear this.*
He dived/waded into the crowd.
With the political climate in the US, there’s a lot of this going on! Candidates for the Republican primary elections, throughout the spring, are trying to capture the party’s nomination for Presidential candidate. As for the Democratic party, it’s a foregone conclusion that the White House incumbent will take the party’s nomination.
But who will win the Presidency is another story. It will be a close race: That’s about all that can be said for sure. And no, today’s expression has nothing at all to do with foul, although there seems to be an epidemic of that going around. Nothing to do with fools, either, regardless of what it sounds like and regardless of what you think of any of the candidates.
That’s why there is so much hand shaking, baby kissing, stumping, and the like going on. And it will last for months to come, until the general elections in November. At the same time, the French version of this phenomenon is going on in France, where François Hollande is opposing the current President, Nicholas Sarkozy. The campaign period is much shorter, but the activity is the much the same.
Today’s expression works for both countries. Il a pris un bain de foule literally means He took a crowd bath. That is, he immersed himself in the crowd. And by the way, the verb fouler means to trample underfoot. You can see where that came from! That’s why they surround the candidates with Secret Service agents.
*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file: