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.