Emmanuel Macron has already been actively campaigning on the ground for weeks. But there is a video he should have refrain to give his voice to.
According to most of the surveys, Macron’s party LREM and its allies should come in first position with around 24% of the votes next May, ahead of the National Rally, Marine Le Pen’s far-right party.
Speculations and rumors have been going on for weeks, and Nathalie Loiseau, the actual Minister for European Affairs should be the one to lead the list. She is well respected and unambiguously competent, although she might not be the best public speaker ever. So why hold the suspense until the end of March?
The most active on the ground over the past two months
The truth is LREM already picked its leader for the campaign weeks ago: Emmanuel Macron himself. Under the guise of the Great National Debate, he has been on the ground, meeting citizens in every corner of the country for the past two months. Exactly as if he was running for an election, but with Elysée’s money, organisation and press service It comes handy. This nationwide consulting exercise having been launched as an attempt to calm down the Yellow Vest movement, the Great Debate is more about problems that need to be fixed in France than about EU’s future. Still, the French president, the most prominent and vocal pro-European politician in France, has also been the most visible and active on the ground over the past couple of months.
Macron is campaigning in Europe too
And he is not only campaigning in France, he is campaigning in Europe too. After the publication of the presidential manifesto calling for “European Renewal” in 28 different European Newspaper on the 5th of March, LREM has launched the website eu-renaissance (translated in 25 languages) which will be the platform for its campaign. For the time being, there is not much on the website, apart from Macron’s op-ed and a video.
An overly simplistic video
It is not sure that this two minutes video is a really good idea: with a scary soundtrack, it depicts an extremely Manicheean Europe. On the ugly side, images of rivers in flood, violent demonstrations, refugees and the portraits of far right leaders (Marine Le Pen, Matteo Salvini, Steve Bannon..). And on the bright side, pictures of the falling Berlin Wall, of Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl holding their hands or children running and jumping. “You have no choice”, says Emmanuel Marcon’s voice at the background. This overly simplistic video has been harshly criticized. “There are the good guys and the bad guys. No more than that”, notes the magazine Marianne. Indeed, the video gives the strange feeling that Emmanuel Macron is talking to French and European citizens as if they had the political maturity of a three years-old.
Insulting European leaders
At least, he is not addressing them as if they were idiots. Apparently, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the eurosceptic leader of the left wing party “Unsubordinate France” (La France insoumise (LFI)), feels he has the privilege to do so. The ferociously anti-European anti-Macron anti-Merkel pro-Russian tribune he has published in France and six European newspapers as an answer to Macron’s op-ed is titled “Get out of the treaties, stupids!”. What remains unclear is whether he is insulting European head of states or European voters. Maybe both.