What a lovely ring it has to it: President Emmanuel Macron.
I never forget that, even after all these years, my impressions of France are always filtered through my American sensibilities. Still, as I write this, the excitement for France’s future feels palpable. Throughout the elections, the first round with 11 candidates, and the run-off today (May 7, 2017), Emmanuel Macron’s message was always hopeful.
He, at 39, is the youngest president in France’s history. His youth, enthusiasm, intelligence and his program (I don’t want you to think I’m completely superficial. . .) have the potential to push — maybe even kicking and screaming — the country into a bright and promising future.
He never underestimated or understated the gravity and even the despair expressed by a large swath of the country’s citizens.
Despite the fact he was elected with 66 percent of the vote against the far-right nationalist, populist candidate, Marine Le Pen, commentators worry that he has unprecedented challenges in front of him. He understands as well that some of his votes were “against” Le Pen and not a vote for his vision. Candidates on the “respectable” right and left were eliminated in the first round which has opened a serious conversation about the future of traditional politics.
The debates have already turned philosophical. We’re in France after all.
On another note, from everything we can see, he and his wife Brigitte are, as the French say, “a fusional couple,” very much devoted to one another.
After his first round win in his acceptance speech after thanking those who supported him, he turned to the crowd and thanked his wife saying, “I wouldn’t be me without Brigitte.”