As I continue a weekend filled with work, I am listening to this, and thought you should too.
P.S. The state of being preoccupied by work is expected to last several weeks. I am not abandoning the blog, but though the rest of this month and all of May I expect to leave it primarily in the capable hands of JVW and Dana. Please join me in extending heartfelt thanks to them for all they do.
Emmanuel Macron gets a bit over 23 percent of the vote; Marine Le Pen of the National Front appears to get just under 22 percent. Francois Fillon, the candidate of the center-right party of Sarkozy, came in at just under 20 percent, the proto-communist Jean-Luc Mélenchon ticked in at just under 19 percent, and the hapless Socialist Party candidate, Benoit Hamon, who inherited the mess left by the Socialist President Francois Hollande, registered an anemic 7 percent. M. Macron and Mme. Le Pen now move to the May 7 final election. Turn-out for this election was said to be greater than usual.
According to Paul Mirengoff at Powerline, the defeated candidates are all beginning to endorse Macron in an effort to forestall the nationalist populism of Le Pen. On the face of it, it would seem that the stars are aligning for an easy victory for Macron, a former socialist who has founded his own party and declares that his ideology is now “neither left nor right.” Perhaps he the Gallic Joe Lieberman, only far more hostile to Israel, but I would bet that he turns out to be a lot more like Barack Obama and would pursue a generally leftist agenda while mouthing the usual platitudes about not being tethered to ideology and only being interested in “what works.”
I am interested in seeing where Mme. Le Pen goes from here. Can she broaden her appeal beyond her base and attract Frenchmen in the center and on the left who are tired of European bureaucrats micromanaging all aspects of French society? Or is France too wedded to the EU ideal to join Britain in making a go of it on their own? After Brexit, the U.S. Presidential election, and the Italian referendum it appeared that we were seeing the twilight of the academic and bureaucratic elite, but the defeat of the populist candidate in Austria along with what is expected to come in France may breathe new life into the parties of the status quo.
For a while it seemed that the recent terrorist attacks in Paris would play to the National Front’s demand of closing off immigration, but I think the general consensus is that Mme Le Pen underperformed today, and that likely suggests that she is headed for defeat in two weeks. But crazy things can happen in a fortnight, and the French are often a very unpredictable people.
SEARCH AMAZON USING THIS SEARCH BOX:
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.