Putin Interferes in elections, Obama just hopes

Where was Barack Obama on the day that Republicans in the House of Representatives dealt a potentially mortal wound to the Affordable Care Act, his signature domestic achievement? In France—at least, on French Twitter, where a video of Obama endorsing Emmanuel Macron for President is currently pinned to the top of Macron’s page. The video is vintage potus 44, Obama in high dad mode. With a flag pin in his lapel and a silver tie to match his silver hair, Obama fixes the camera with that familiar sober, sympathetic gaze. “I’ve always been grateful for the friendship of the French people, and for the work we did together when I was President of the United States,” he begins, as French subtitles appear in a hip sans-serif font. “I’m not planning to get involved in many elections now that I don’t have to run for office again. But the French election is very important to the future of France and the values that we care so much about.”

As interferences in a foreign election go, this is no alleged Kremlin-directed hacking of the D.N.C. But it’s still fairly surreal—a word whose sense depreciates by the day—to see the former President inform the citizens of France that Macron, who faces Marine Le Pen, of the National Front, on Sunday in the election’s second and final round, is the best choice to lead their divided nation as the cracks in ours deepen by the day.

For of course your guy doing something you approve of is different from someone you don’t like being accused of something with no proof at all.

Of course.

19 comments on “Putin Interferes in elections, Obama just hopes

  1. Obama’s interference will likely be better received by the French than it was by the British because deference to one’s “betters” (and its flipside: denouncing one’s enemies) is sadly part of the national psyche.

  2. a video of Obama endorsing Emmanuel Macron for President is currently pinned to the top of Macron’s page

    Le wot?

    How stupide is this Macaroni fella, anyway?

    I dunno about Frog politics, but the intervention of Jesus Hussein Um Bongo will probably go down as well as his priceless advice on Brexit.

    The French don’t like being told what to do, especially by Americans.

    Member when everybody said “don’t you nuke that atholl!” and they were like “We can’t hear you over LE BOOM!”

    That was great.

  3. I had to Google for a meaning on fantasmatic. I wonder whether Google Translate would have been more appropriate? Apparently, relating to phantoms. Do phantoms have logic? They’re not usually renowned for being logical phenomena, are they You don’t hear the names of great phantom mathematicians being banded about, that often. Of course, phantom economists are fairly prevalent. One gets mentioned here, fairly regularly. Or his phantom economics, anyway. The purveyor of same is all too corporeal. for most tastes. But I’ve no doubt the Treasury’s positively stuffed with them. Got them coming out the woodwork. It’s the only explanation.

  4. Of course, it could just mean someone with breathlessness from drinking an orange-coloured product from the Coca-Cola Company Inc. I have no idea whether logic may be tangentially, or even normally, involved.

  5. Macron and Obama, were they manufactured and sponsored by the same factory, that they should emerge from their chrysalises ready for presidential power, photogenic and baggagefree? The French are so antiAmerican I doubt many have noticed the resemblance.

  6. So Hollande’s popularity plummeted as a result of a policy urged upon him by Macron and it is Macron who is the favoured candidate to replace him. What is the explanation? Is this the weirdest political event this century?

  7. @ Diogenes
    Macron is the favoured candidate because the Socialist Party created a smear campaign to destroy Fillon’s chances after he won his party’s nomination before the first round. They reckon that no scandal can prevent their centre-left candidate beating Ms Le Pen.
    When Fillon is acquitted the elkection will be over and it will be too late.

  8. Also Fillon was smeared with something that is true.

    Call me old-fashioned, but politicians who don’t just have their hand in the till but ransack it are not my cup of tea.

    Acquittal means very little. Was Bill Clinton convicted of any sexual offences?

  9. Diogenes – “But Macron is not affiliated to the socialists so your explanation fails”

    Oh come on. Please. He is a long standing scion of the Socialist Party who was somehow magically able to create a “new” political party in months? No, the socialists are rebranding. No more.

    Is it too late to hope the Guardian will be repeating their Ohio intervention in France? I can hardly think of anything else likely to get Le Pen over the line. Although Maricon’s love life is a close second.

  10. Smfs, if Macron is the socialist party choice, your explanation would mean that they deliberately sabotaged Hollande’s presidency by getting their lad to put forward a policy that was anathema to them. Your explanation fails as well

  11. @ Diogenes
    Try reading what I actually wrote, not what fits your prepared rejoinder to what you would like me to have written.

  12. @ Chester Draws
    The Hollande government has filed charges against the candidate of the leading centre-right party accusing him of things that are legal in France. They are not to our UK taste but are viewed as normal elsewhere (and one Tory and many Labour MPs were “outed” as paying excessive salaries to family members).
    OTOH Macron’s alleged tax evasion is (if it is true) illegal but Hollande tries to hush up that.

  13. Diogenes – “if Macron is the socialist party choice, your explanation would mean that they deliberately sabotaged Hollande’s presidency by getting their lad to put forward a policy that was anathema to them. Your explanation fails as well”

    Hollande is unelectable. He cannot win. Anyone he endorses might not be able to win either. His numbers are that low. So rather than humiliate himself, he declined to stand again. The Socialists nominated Hamon. But Hamon resigned from Hollande’s government because of Hollande’s incompetence. So I don’t imagine they are close. And of course Hollande is poison even in his own party.

    So Hollande encourages his protege to call himself an independent and stand. On what is basically the Socialist Party’s platform. Hollande introduces him to the Big Money and pulls some strings for him. Suddenly Macron can do what no other independent can – run a campaign that might win.

    There is no policy difference. There is no political difference. Macron is just a Socialist with better PR and little of the stench of Hollande sticking to him.

  14. @john77

    Fillon’s mistake was diverting money to his family, rather than observing the time-honoured French tradition of using it to establish his mistress/boyfriend in a bijou little pied-à-terre near his office. In which case the French response would have been ‘Bouf’.

  15. Is it too late to hope the Guardian will be repeating their Ohio intervention in France?

    It would be twice as funny as the letters would be written in schoolboy standard French, with enormous potential for hilarious double entendres and mistranslations.

    Alas, will never happen.

  16. TIS,

    Member when everybody said “don’t you nuke that atholl!” and they were like “We can’t hear you over LE BOOM!”

    That was great.

    No, that was the Rainbow Warrior.

  17. It was the Rainbox Warrior as well, hehe.

    We’ve had LE BOOM of Greenpeace, LE BOOM in the Pacific, and a bit of LE BOOM in Mali.

    I admire they way they get on with it, without the handwringing our lot does.

    I was having a cuppa in Paris once when a copper told a fellow Frenchman to move his car, “Monsieur, you cannot park there”. Monsieur nods, minces over to his voiture, drives round the block long enough for the rozzer to move on, then parks back in the same spot.

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