IMF chief charged with sexual assault

Label me a cynic, but there may be more than meets the eye to the shocking news that the head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was hauled off a plane bound for France by New York police and subsequently charged with assaulting a hotel maid.

What is interesting is that Strauss-Khan is a major challenger to Nicholas Sarkozy in next year's French presidential elections. The New York Post:

Three Port Authority detectives pulled Dominique Strauss-Kahn from the plane's first-class cabin just two minutes before it was due to depart for Paris, according to the police sources.

Strauss-Kahn, 62 -- who was expected to challenge French President Nicholas Sarkozy in the 2012 election -- was turned over to NYPD officers and brought to the Special Victims Unit's uptown squad room.

Strauss-Kahn is awaiting arraignment on charges of a criminal sex act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.


The shocking arrest came hours after a Socialist Party ally of Strauss-Kahn accused Sarkozy of kicking off a smear campaign against his longtime rival -- focusing on his lavish lifestyle, including his preference for suits from the same tailor favored by President Obama.

"There is now a totally structured and orchestrated campaign, which has already been announced by Mr. Sarkozy and his closest allies, to attack the character of Strauss-Kahn," Socialist politician Jean-Marie Le Guen told Europe 1 radio.

Strauss-Kahn's stint at the helm of the IMF in Washington does not officially end until September 2012, several months after the scheduled date of France's presidential vote.

But the French political world has been buzzing with speculation that the man popularly known as "DSK" would bring a premature end to his tenure and throw his hat in the ring.

And some opinion polls suggested he would win.

Reading the account of the maid and her ordeal raises a few alarms. She says she didn't know Strauss-Khan was in the room when she entered. I suppose mistakes happen - especially if the guest does not hang a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door. But in the most expensive suite of an expensive hotel housing a VVIP guest? It doesn't ring true and perhaps there is something else we're not being told.

Regardless, Strauss-Khan is probably finished as a potential rival to Sarkozy and he will almost certainly be forced to resign from the IMF.

Couldn't have worked out any better than if Sarkozy had planned it...