in a meeting in Paris, Emmanuel Macron addresses his left and tries to rectify the story of his campaign

Emmanuel Macron's first and only meeting before the first round, Saturday April 2, looked like an American show.

A hexagonal stage, surrounded by blue-white-red, has been placed in the middle of the stands of the Paris Défense Arena. For almost an hour, the announcer has been encouraging the 30,000 people present to make noise by stamping their feet, asking them to put down their mobile phones for a “clapping”, getting drunk on “money time [moment décisif] incredible “ in which France would find itself, on this Saturday April 2, eight days before the first round of the presidential election…

Are we attending a boxing match, a concert, or more simply an American political show? It would reign as a doubt if a skewer of prime ministers – former or in office – had not taken their place in the front row. Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Manuel Valls, Edouard Philippe and Jean Castex are present, like actress Carole Bouquet, director Claude Lellouch, or producer Dominique Besnehard, to attend Emmanuel Macron’s first – and last – campaign meeting before April 10.

The voice of the President of the Republic resounds, as if descended from the sky, in videos exalting the memories of the previous election of 2017 and the reforms of the quinquennium. Young people with Macron, stimulated by room drivers with megaphones, demand ” And one ! And two ! And five more years! » Everything is done to ape the codes of sports arenas, in a room renamed for an afternoon “MacronArena”. “It’s over with daddy politics”marvels Eric Martel, a sympathizer.

A speech expected after a late and failed entry into the campaign

“I prefer the Parc des Princes”squeals a deputy from La République en Marche (LRM), unhappy to have been excluded from the VIP area, like most of his colleagues, in favor of “those who have spoken ill of Macron for years”. A way of designating the recent rallies of the Head of State, such as Christian Estrosi, Hubert Falco and Renaud Muselier, on the right, or Jean-Pierre Chevènement, on the left.

Finally, Emmanuel Macron descends the bleachers, in the middle of the crowd and the smoke, like a boxer before the fight. The announcer promised a speech “who is going to spin our hairs”. The expectation is great, at a time when the candidate of the National Rally, Marine Le Pen, is catching up on her delay in the polls. It is necessary to find the thread of a badly handled campaign, which sees the capital of the candidate’s voting intentions melting away, day after day. Some relatives regretted his failed and late entry into the fray.

From his declaration of candidacy, via a “letter to the French” deemed hollow, to the presentation of his program, of which only the pension reform and the counterparties required for the active solidarity income (RSA) will have marked the spirits, nothing had so far allowed to install the candidate’s narrative. In front of elected officials and activists, the Head of State therefore tried to rectify the situation.

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