Without saying it, Macron launches his candidacy for re-election – the Durango Herald
Prime-time speech to the nation by French President Emmanuel Macron was a lot like launching a re-election campaign
LE PECQ, France (AP) – “I am running again as a candidate for the French presidency.”
Those words, or some variations in that sense, were the most glaring omission in a prime-time speech to the nation Tuesday night by French President Emmanuel Macron.
The 27-minute speech, delivered against the backdrop of a red-white and blue tricolor and an embossed seal of the French Republic, swept away France’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic, moved forward towards its economic recovery and brought forward spoke encouragingly of The French assets but also warned against the challenges and vulnerabilities.
It was a televised statement that sounded a lot like a re-election campaign launch – without really saying it.
This is certainly how political opponents who have already declared their ambition to overthrow Macron and limit him to a one-term president were viewed during the country’s vote in April.
“Obviously, Emmanuel Macron is a candidate,” tweeted far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon, who hopes to improve his fourth place in the 2017 elections which put Macron in power as the youngest French president in the country. story.
Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, widely defeated by Macron in the 2017 presidential runoff, called the address a “campaign speech”.
For now, not declaring himself officially re-elected is strategically advantageous for Macron, 43.
From the golden offices of the presidential Elysee, Macron can appear to be above electoral politics and what is already shaping up to be a turbulent and murderous campaign. It is more difficult for opposing candidates to attack a sitting president who has not yet rolled up his sleeves and has officially entered the fray. Because the president embodies French authority, attacking the office puts Macron’s opponents at risk of appearing rude and unpatriotic.
The ambiguity also allows Macron to use the privileges of the presidency to campaign without saying it. He meets and greets voters across France and orders airtime while traveling here and flying there for what is apparently a presidential affair. Access to France’s purse strings also allows him to direct taxpayer money towards needs and causes which his future campaign team hopes will also make him a more attractive candidate.
Behind the scenes, a Macron re-election effort is already well underway. And the recipe that worked so well for him in 2017 remains effectively unchanged: he is once again striving to dominate the middle ground of French politics and to attract voters on the right and left.
A priority for his campaign team will be to suck support from conservative and far-right candidates who vote more heavily than left-wing candidates. Not declaring does not seem to hurt Macron: Voter intention polls have suggested for months that he is the frontrunner, with a big cushion but by no means impregnable.
“When you start to launch a campaign, it necessarily encroaches on work,” Macron spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday. “We have to be 100% at work.
Macron is not the only one who deliberately makes people guess. The biggest impact on the race so far has been made by another undeclared but expected competitor: Eric Zemmour. Full candidate, the television specialist who arouses the scum arrives from the extreme right and, despite repeated convictions for hate speech, votes shoulder to shoulder with Le Pen behind Macron. An official candidacy from Zemmour may only be in a few days.
But there is a danger that the campaign and its issues will escape Macron, and that other candidates will set the tone, if he plays the waiting game for too long. Already, the emphasis Zemmour and Le Pen placed on immigration and the threats it poses to French identity and prosperity are diverting attention from the themes of economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction that Macron counts among his strengths.
Opponents are also already complaining that Macron is blurring the lines between president and candidate, giving him an unfair advantage. Election rules that require a fair share of airtime for candidates will come into effect from January and will also apply to Macron.
Voting campaigns and supporters will also have to be mobilized, rallies organized and funds collected and registered. Almost at the same stage of the last presidential election, the then president, François Hollande, was preparing to make his intentions known. It was on December 1, 2016, that he announced in a prime-time speech that he would not seek a second 5-year term.
Nothing in Macron’s speech suggested a similar route. Macron has made it clear that he believes work remains to be done after a first term deviated by the pandemic and months of angry protests against his government before the pandemic struck.
The clearest clue to his intentions came when Macron spoke about the overhaul of the French pension system. He had previously promised to push forward the difficult reform as president. But he said on Tuesday that it was now necessary to wait for “clear decisions” in 2022.
Without saying it, he could hardly have been clearer.
Sylvie Corbet in Paris contributed.