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French people approve of Mr Macron’s image as Sun King

2017年07月14日 13時54分19秒 | Weblog


via mozu


The Sun King: Macron burnishes his presidential image


Since he rode to his inauguration in a military jeep, Emmanuel Macron has carefully cultivated his image and his projection of the presidency’s power, even comparing himself to Jupiter and hosting his Russian counterpart at the palace of Versailles built for France’s Sun King.

He gave Donald Trump a bone-crushing handshake in their first meeting, saying France was not there to make “small concessions”. On Friday, he will show off his military might to the US president in the Bastille Day celebrations.

Some of Mr Macron’s presidential image-making — from the arrangement of his desk for an official portrait to the square-jawed pose he struck aboard one of his country’s nuclear submarines — is so contrived as to invite mockery.

Two-thirds of French people have said that they approve of Mr Macron’s communication style, according to the latest poll by Odoxa-Dentsu. “The French people are glad to have a president that behaves and looks like a president,” says Thomas Guenole, a political scientist and researcher at Iris, a think-tank. “They were sick of having someone who seems like an ‘average guy’ as their head of state.”



Mr Macron’s official portrait, which is heavy in symbolism, contains an open copy of de Gaulle’s wartime memoirs. “Like de Gaulle, I am choosing the best of the [political] right, the best of the left and even the best of the centre,” Mr Macron said at a political rally in Paris in April.

But Mr Macron has also sought models from elsewhere in history. His election night address in May in front of the Louvre, for example, echoed the 1981 victory speech of the other titan of late-20th century France, François Mitterrand.

Similarly, his decision to open up Louis XIV’s palace in Versailles for Russia’s Vladimir Putin evoked imperial parallels. He has himself said his style is not so much Gaullist but “Jupiterian” — a reference to the remoteness of Jupiter, king of the Roman gods.

Restoring the lofty image of the French presidency is only half of Mr Macron’s image strategy, say analysts. They add that he is also trying to present the image of a “cool” modern leader akin to Barack Obama, the former US president, or Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister.


“He is trying to adapt the old French ‘republican monarchy’ style to the 21st century, which is a difficult thing to do . . . he wants to be de Gaulle but also Trudeau,” says Philippe Moreau Chevrolet, head of MCBG, a communications agency.

Mr Macron’s strategy has irritated some political journalists, who grumble that the president has cut off the generous access they had under Mr Hollande.

Le Monde, the powerful French daily, last month complained that while “not a day goes by” without images of Mr Macron all over social media or on the news, they were not designed to “explain his policy” to the French people but to “sculpt his own image”.



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