The rebirth of candidate Mélenchon

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, in a meeting on the Place du Capitole, in Toulouse, on April 3, 2022.

Eight days before the first round, Jean-Luc Mélenchon is at the Collège des Bernardins, in Paris. He visits the craftsmen who are restoring Notre-Dame. “Did you cry when it burned down?” Me too “, he said. The opportunity to speak as a “secularist” to leftist Catholics, to build bridges… Between his program and the Pope’s latest encyclicals. You had to dare. In this last week of the campaign, the fate of Jean-Luc Mélenchon is suspended. “Nothing is ever lost before the last hour”he assures.

The next day, in Toulouse, the Place du Capitole will be full of people. And Tuesday, April 5 in Lille, he again launches his multiplication in holograms. In this campaign, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and his militant machine will not have weakened. “We made no mistake”, wants to believe Manuel Bompard, his campaign manager. But, despite the effort, the gap to access the second round remains narrow.

It is soon time for the former Trotskyist to rely on fate, or rather on history. Because the Freemason does not believe in Providence. At the Bernardins, the elevator is broken; the People’s Union candidate walks up. He remembers aloud having carried François Mitterrand, sick, at the end of his days, up the stairs. Mr. Mélenchon has never wavered in his admiration of the ” Old “, as he calls it. This year, he almost campaigned in his footsteps.

Forget the red background of the 2012 posters, and the hazy skies of 2017 gave way to a calm sea. His adversaries still reproach him for the “Sound and the Fury”he is surprised. ” I do not find that “he replied, Wednesday March 30 on France Inter, when he was presented with a sentence from Anne Hidalgo accusing him of creating the “chaos”.

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From month to month, he did everything to distance this image. The searches at LFI headquarters in 2018? Among younger people, “The Republic is me”, claimed by Jean-Luc Mélenchon in front of the investigators, has become a meme, almost recovered in the TikTok communication system of his “fanbase”. According to several polls, the LFI candidate has regained his pre-affair popularity, and on March 9 blamed the “old journalism” bludgeoning on her “damaged picture”. “The page is turning”he added.

If, in 2017, Jean-Luc Mélenchon found himself as a scarecrow, targeted by all these opponents, including on the right, five years later, he was attacked almost exclusively by his competitors on the left, on his relationship to the Russian regime. in the war in Ukraine. The sign that he is no longer afraid on the right… Or that no one is expecting him in the second round.

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