Thursday, April 20, 2017

NYT Damns Macron with Faint Praise

Alissa Rubin, "Macron Wants to Change France. But Will Voters Elect an Unknown?," provides NYT readers one more puff piece before the French vote on Sunday in the first round of their presidential election:
The race is truly up in the air. As much as 30 percent of the French electorate is still undecided, and four of the 11 candidates, including Mr. Macron, are polling within three or four percentage points of each other. The top two vote-getters in the election’s first round will face off in a final vote on May 7.
What's interesting about Rubin's story is how faint the praise is. Clearly the 37-year-old Macron is a recognizable shill. Even the prestige press that puffs him can't obscure the fact.

Rubin repeats Macron's famous faux pas when he responded to a heckler by telling him to get a job so he could buy a fine suit.
Those who have worked closely with Mr. Macron, both in government and in the private sector, are almost uniformly impressed by his grasp and dedication, but some said that at times they felt misled as Mr. Macron pursued his ambitions.
At his recent rally in Pau, the crowd seemed a bit more enthusiastic before he spoke than afterward when some seemed baffled by his lofty proposals. He has been criticized as being technocratic, abstract and sometimes lacking in empathy.
An episode last year during a visit to an event in southern France, when Mr. Macron was heckled by a 21-year-old union activist in a black T-shirt, seems emblematic.
The young man called out to the neatly attired former banker, saying he had “not a penny to pay for a suit like that one.”
Mr. Macron responded: “The best way to pay for a suit is to work.”
“I’ve worked since the age of 16,” the man shot back, in an exchange popularly interpreted as having put Mr. Macron in his place.
It is hard to believe the French are so gullible as to pass Macron through to the second round. But if you look at the polling it does seem like he's going to make it.

Then again there are the huge number of undecideds. Plus, how fervent are Macron supporters?

So the ingredients are there for a Le Pen-Mélenchon final or even a Le Pen-Fillon final.

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