Editorials: Sahlin is Comeback Kid

Comeback Kid and Political Revenge are two phrases that are being enthusiastically used by media commentators across the country to describe Mona Sahlin’s elevation to head of the Social democratic party.

The description alludes to Mona Sahlin’s fall from grace 11 years ago when a scandal over her personal finances robbed her of the party leadership and paved the way for the then finance minister, Göran Persson to take power.

That she managed to re-enter politics and hold her own in today’s tough media environment is a testament to her strength as a politician, writes Göran Greider of the Social Democratic regional newspaper, Dala- Demokraten. 

But there is also an air of scepticism. Dala-Demokraten voices the fears of many from the party’s left and questions whether or not Mona Sahlin’s brand of economic liberalism and social democracy is really what the party needs to claw back power from Fredrick Reinfeldts centre-right alliance in 2010.

Sahlin’s political intentions are also in focus at the centre right independent Dagens Nyheter which suggests that she will be hard put to effect any renewal of the party manifest unless the grassroots starts to accept that its electoral loss was not due to the public’s superficial desire for change.

It also predicts that given her right-leaning sympathies - she will have a difficult time negotiating with the social democrats parliamentary support parties - the former communist left party and the left leaning Greens.

Meanwhile, the independent conservative Svenska Dagbladet expressed its surprise that in her acceptance speech, Sahlin mentioned the need for the social democrats to embrace the private sector and encourage more entrepreneurs in Sweden. But cautioned that the proof will be in the pudding.

Finally the effect of Sahlin’s gender on her chances was mused over by the liberal Expressen which suggested that while the social democrats first female leader in its 118 year history will likely win over many female voters - the prospect of a female Prime Minister may still compel others to vote for the centre right alliance - now that the political stances of the blocs are so close.