Ron Klain, the chief of staff for US President Joe Biden, saw a parallel to American politics in Macron’s win.
Klain did not expand on his observation. But we can!
There are, without doubt, some similarities between the political environment in France and the one in which Biden finds himself in.
And Macron, like Biden, was also facing some headwinds due to rising inflation and energy costs.
Yeah, sure. The Macron victory, on one level, bears some similarities to the current situation in which Biden finds himself.
But viewed through another lens, there are concerning trends for Biden in the French results.
Most importantly, while Le Pen didn’t win, she did come significantly closer than she had four years ago.
“Le Pen’s performance is the latest indication that the French public is turning to extremist politicians to voice their dissatisfaction with the status quo. In the first round, far-left and far-right candidates accounted for more than 57% of the ballots cast. “
Then there’s this: More than a quarter of French voters didn’t cast a ballot in Sunday’s second round election, the highest abstention rate in five decades.(More people didn’t vote than voted for Le Pen.)
That sort of apathy has to be worrisome for any incumbent in any country.
The point? It’s always a dangerous game to look at elections in other countries to predict what might happen in America. For every Brexit foreshadowing the election of Donald Trump — and even the connection there is somewhat tenuous — there are scores of foreign elections that American political analysts sought to find meaning in which, in retrospect, told us not much of anything.
Klain is searching for good political news here. Biden is in rough political shape, and the 2022 midterm elections look borderline catastrophic for Democrats at the moment.
That Macron won a second term is, generally speaking, a vote of confidence in a liberal-leaning form of leadership that believes in globalism and the need to keep our post-World War II coalition together in Western Europe.
But France is not the United States. Le Pen is not Trump. And Macron is not Biden.