In a five-way race for the French presidency, results from Sunday’s first vote produced a final runoff between the top two candidates: Emmanuel Macron with 23.75% of the vote and Marine Le Pen of the National Front with 21.53%.
Macron was delighted by the call and the extra attention it focused on his campaign. On Twitter, he thanked Obama for the call and said “let’s keep defending our progressive values.”
Macron had the call filmed so he could use it in his campaign.
Just as Obama injected himself into the British vote to stay in the European Union, he now thought he could help slow the momentum of Le Pen who was rising in the polls before last Sunday’s election.
In media commentary before the vote, observers doubted the ability of Obama to have much influence, given the fact the British electorate ignored his interference in their vote on Brexit.
The wave of populism that swept the United States and the United Kingdom had seemingly made its way to France, as National Front Leader Marine Le Pen, who holds conservative – or ‘far right’ views, as the media likes to say, continued to lead among voters. Macron has gained some momentum in recent polls, but if history is any indication it’s doubtful Obama will have had anything to do with it.”
Heading into the final May 7 election, Macron is believed to hold a lead in the polls, as losing presidential contenders Francois Fillon and Benoit Hamon have expressed support for him. Macron and Le Pen will face off in a final televised debate on May 3.
Macron bills himself as the “progressive vs. the conservative,” while Le Pen positions herself as the “patriot vs. the globalist.”
Obama insists his phone call to Macron did not constitute an endorsement, but it remains to be seen if he can resist weighing in again before the final vote in 11 days.
While Democrats keep trying to perpetuate the Russian interference meme with no foundation to sustain it, Obama keeps up his hypocritical posture toward election interference after his clumsy attempts in Israel, Great Britain and now, France.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 20, 2017
Image: Daniel Borman