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24 April 2017

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David E. Solomon

Colonel,

My wife is 9 1/2 years older than me. We have a friend who is fifteen years older than her husband and a neighbor who is twenty-two years older than her husband.

Such age differences can often make for excellent marriages.

We are coming up on forty years since we met and thirty-eight years since we married.

That said, I do not know much about Macron, but I think you are probably correct in saying that the difference in age between the candidate and his wife is probably the most interesting thing about him.

Otherwise, he sounds very much like an investment grade Clinton (either one) or an Obama.

We all know where they got us.

But, if I were French I would probably vote for Macron, even though in our last election we voted for Jill Stein (and do not regret that vote).

David

Sam Peralta

Col. Lang

Yes, there is a huge cultural divide between us Americans and the French. They don't care so much about our apparently prudish ways at least in terms of political appearances. President Mitterand had a mistress that was well known to the public. President Hollande's initial "first lady" was his girlfriend and until he was caught riding a scooter for trysts with his new found paramour. There's something to really appreciate about their attitude to sex and relationships.

The polls were rather accurate for the first round. And if that accuracy continues for the second round Macron will become president defeating Le Pen by double digits as the establishment parties all back him. That would mean a continuation of the status quo. Macron seems keen to depose Assad and backs all the Borgist ideas on foreign interventions. Of course, as another Davos man, he is firmly in the EU & globalist camp. The media will be promoting the line that populism has been defeated and is done for now at least on the continent. Merkel & Juncker must be very pleased.

The Beaver

Macron is just repeating what his friends at the Quai d'Orsay and the two Embassies in DC and Turtle Bay are telling him , including Nathalie Loiseau, now at l'ENA but used to be in the office of Alain Juppé when France was looking for regime change in Syria back in 2011.

Laguerre

"H probably would have won without that."

You mean F(illon), I think. Hollande would never have won.

Macron is a stronger figure than you suggest. Friends of friends know the family, and apparently he is personally intensely ambitious. He is probably playing the game of Theresa May and keeping quiet until safely elected (the latter highly likely). At any rate, he's played a pretty good game for a first election, and came in top. Evidently he's going for the young vote, who normally don't go out to vote. Some good ideas too. Personally I go for that, but I have no idea whether it will turn out well. At any rate better than Le Pen.

jld

A summary of the election whith plenty of graphics and a HUGE thread of comments (in French though) from mostly disgruntled voters.
Under a quote from the late Coluche.
"Si voter changeait quelque chose il y a longtemps que ce serait interdit."

Fred

Col.,

Just back from Paris. France 24, or perhaps the BBC, (I only caught about 40 minutes of news trying to find out the details on the shooting on the Champs Elysee) said the usual turnout in presidential elections was ~85%. Doesn't this breakdown go along similar urban-rural voting patterns? That seems about the only similarity to the US election I could see. Isn't there a superficial similarity in the establishment unifying against La Pen to one of the themes of Houellebecq's novel?

Priam's Crazy Daughter

The American teacher you are probably referring to is Mary Kay Letourneau. Letourneau is the name of her first husband. The student she so famously had the affair with and whom she later married was first in her second grade class and then again later in the sixth grade class she was teaching at the time of the beginning of the affair. Some reported that her first husband was terribly abusive to her.

I don't care how cosmopolitan a person is, somehow this sort of affair indicated something was terribly wrong or twisted in the psyches of the two people, though apparently they were able to make it work. The story always shocked me as a mother of two young boys.

As for adult men marrying older women, I find that completely acceptable. But personally, as an older woman myself, I would not want to finish the job of "raising" my husband.


I thank you, however, for your explanation of the French system of voting. It appears that they have a similar choice as the one we had: the Devil or the Deep Blue Sea sort of choice. When the world is so divided by the factions of people with such differing political beliefs, it makes me nervous. I tend to hunker down with the family and friends I have and hope the rest of the world finds us too boring and too lacking in importance to concern themselves with us.

I will, however, remain loyal to English as the best language, which I find actually more cosmopolitan than French, who tried for a long, long time to keep their language "pure." A study of the history of the English language might convince you. Remember that the Norman Conquest of England did do much to "Frenchify" (my experession) the language which was originally quite Germanic: "Anglo-ish." I loved to recite Old English to my kids, especially the opening lines of Beowulf. The gutteral sounds and the sentence structure always convinced them I was putting a curse on them. The French sounds of parts of the Middle English Canterbury Tale sometimes seemed too prissy for my taste, and of course I do believe that Chaucer did that purposely as a reflection of the pligrim he was describing at the time.

asx

"all civilized people have two languages, their own and French"

Interesting what Mr. Jefferson thought of the native French.

SaDudexcellence

If I may weigh in and offer a bit of a French perspective:
I think you will see Macron win but not as widely as projected, something more around 55-45. You have to remember that 15 years ago Chirac defeated Le Pen the father 80-20 to appreciate that this will be a (silent) earthquake in french politics. In a way the fact that Marine Le Pen was expected in the second round is also an earthquake. In 2002, her father drew hundreds of thousands of opponents in the streets during two weeks.
About the swiftness with which results are announced in France, it's not so often that we hear praise for French administration, so maybe I should not say anything... however what you reported is not completely accurate:
Yesterday the polls closed at 7pm, and the first estimations were given at 8pm but they were certainly not on a majority of the votes but on a small fraction from a panel of voting locations that is chosen so as to be representative of the whole country. If you are interested in more details (and speak French) this is explained in more details here: http://www.huffingtonpost.fr/2017/04/23/resultats-election-presidentielle-2017-comment-sont-fabriques-l_a_22050624/
The real final results actually come much later. Interestingly, some foreign media yesterday were reporting raw vote counts from the governments as they became available. For a large part of the evening these placed Marine Le Pen first because she is stronger in rural areas and these tend to report faster than cities (less votes to count), while the estimate broadcast on French channels from a lower number of votes but forming a more representative panel was actually quite close to the final result.
Also we actually vote the old fashionned way: with paper ballots in enveloppes, that are manually opened and counted. This in my opinion is actually a very foulproof democratic process compared with electronic votes.

Finally: about the attitude of French people towards the love affairs of their politicians, it's not that we approve unfaithfulness, it's just that we do not consider it our business and we have a tradition of valueing privacy sometimes over transparency.

William R. Cumming

Why the impact on U.S. markets?

wisedupearly

Your comments strike a chord with an article in Vox on the Hillary disaster.
http://www.vox.com/2017/4/24/15369452/clinton-shattered-campaign
Vox writes that Hillary knew more clearly what she was against than what she wanted for the country (she knew very clearly what she wanted for herself).
Macron appears to be another highly capable manager/organizer who lacks the ability to actually "lead" acountry. Their tactic of distraction is to continually talk up external threats.

trinlae

Yup, think Clinton Foundation with older money: Rotschild bank investment banker and partner.

French get to pick oligarchy front man or right win nationalist front woman.

Sound familiar?

fasteddiez

Colonel, Il me semble que le président va devenir le prochain caniche des Américains.

Kooshy

Colonel, As Babak may say, the difference comes from the US' puritan based properly culture. Zoroastrianism has the same basic principals (Good deeds, good thoughts, good words)

turcopolier

asx

The "native French?" As opposed to what other kind of French? pl

turcopolier

PCD

"As for adult men marrying older women, I find that completely acceptable." I suppose it is understandable that you would think that. Mr. Jefferson did not say that French was a superior language to English. He said it was a language of civilized discourse. I agree with him, but, then, my Norman ancestors brought to England many of the loan words you mention. What surprises me is that English survived the Norman conquest. Romano-Briish had not survived the Anglo-Saxon invasion. pl pl

MartinJ

I was in the centre of rural France over the past few days. It was delightful to see steady streams of people on a Sunday heading to vote in the local mayor's office. In the UK weekend voting doesn't traditionally happen because - patronisingly - the working classes can't be trusted to come out and vote after a full evening of drinking on a Saturday night. Less happily the heart of rural France, in Burgundy at least, looks devastated with villages and towns half closed down due to a failing economy. Its clear to see that people are turning away from established parties to find something to halt the decline.

Patrick S.

Because they are relieved that Macron the globalist and staunchly pro-EU man will most likely win. It's a good day for privatization and the free flow of international capital.

Allen Thomson


Well, this is interesting, assuming it's true:

http://www.elmundo.es/internacional/2017/04/24/58fe561fca474160628b4640.html

It's in Spanish, the message is that Le Pen has given up the FN presidency to get lefty votes. Good luck with that, Marine.

"Marine Le Pen abandona la presidencia del Frente Nacional para buscar votos en la izquierda."

Francophones here might want to see what the French press is saying.

Prem

There are rumours that Macron is involved with Mathieu Gallet - the CEO of Radio France. Gallet looks very much like he just stepped out of an Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue.

turcopolier

prem

" ... is involved with Mathieu Gallet" A gay relationship? pl

asx

His observation is not very kind to those who speak nothing but French.

Jack

It would seem that running Macron on another party ticket was a very good idea in this climate of revulsion of the major parties. He seems to be cut of the same cloth as the mainstream Socialist party of Hollande. A pro-EU, globalist platform combined with a continuation of the social welfare state.

Even if the FN gain more votes relative to 2012 the establishment will get another presidential term. It is highly unlikely that they will consider the issues facing the voters that backed Marine Le Pen. Looking at the map of voting it seems France is also divided along urban/rural and regional lines, like the US.

What the US election is proving is that the status quo establishment is very powerful and not easily dislodged. Since the lives of the Deplorables are not going to get any better with status quo policies and there is no consensus due to the deep political divisions, the simmering discontent will continue to gather steam. While more wars and the external enemy du jour can distract it is no longer fooling many.

Prem

Yes. It is just a rumour and Macron has denied it.

They do look overly groomed for heterosexual men, but then they are French.

Jack

James

Considering that the polls very pretty accurate for the first round, it will require a political earthquake and a real shift in voter sentiment for Le Pen to win. Even if all Melenchon voters mark their ballot for her it will not be sufficient. In any case, even if she wins she's not going to be able to get France out of the euro as I understand that it requires a constitutional amendment. However, she can be a big thorn in the side of Juncker and his band of plundering Eurocrats.

My own swag is that Macron and many in the establishment saw a great opportunity to re-brand as a new alternative. Clearly he was well financed. His youthful looks and lack of any scandals that sunk Fillon got him the position to be the standard bearer of the establishment in the runoff. My guess is that his administration will be staffed by the same cast of characters who have run things.

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