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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2340

The French Election 2017:

Hemantha Abeywardena writes from London…

The old cliché that there is a woman behind every successful man, is an evolving one: those who take it as gospel truth, often cite the statistics in support of the saying; those who are dead against it, on the other hand, believe it is because women do not run behind unsuccessful men; then there are men, for instance, like Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister, who throughout his active political life implied there is, in fact, not just one, but a tribe of them behind every successful man.

Whatever the arguments, for or against it, the maxim picked up the momentum back during the past two weeks in the realms of journalism, when it emerged how Emmanuel Macron, the 39-year-old, French presidential hopeful met his match, Brigitte Trogneux, his former dancing teacher, who is 24 year his senior.

Having won the first round at the recent French presidential poll, Mr Macron called his wife to the stage in order to embrace and kiss her, while declaring, “Without her, I wouldn’t be me,” in public. Everyone, who is interested in the French politics, has since been talking about the extraordinary love story as much as he or she has been following the politics in the republic.

We are familiar with the cases in which successful – or rich – men marrying much younger women, when the latter often declare that they are an item – a pair in love. On a scale of fame, both Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul, have left their marks at higher indices and the world does not make any fuss over it; nor do they talk about it for months.

In Mr Macron’s case, however, it is his wife, almost 24 years his senior, who attracts the endless headlines on the eve of the second round of the polls. As the details of their romance, from classroom to bedroom, emerged in dribs and drabs, Ms Trogneux became a star in her own right in the election, when the title of the First Lady became almost within her sight.

Some analysts, meanwhile, believe that the phenomenon is a very French ‘thing’, indeed; the French history is awash with instances of this nature. Napoleon, for instance, fell under the spell of Josephine, 16 years his senior, while embarking on empire building, attracting great successes.

The fact that he said, “Without her, I wouldn’t be me,” in this historical context, appears to be a clever move.
Mr Macron, a former investment banker, is acutely aware of the challenges that he is going to face on daily basis – on many different fronts – unless he has a loyal parliament to work with.

The meteoric rise of Mr Macron in the French politics shows that his ability to seduce his teacher at the age of 17, may have provided him with the much needed ‘horse power’ to go on Mission Impossible.

Mr Macron doesn’t want her wife to be just a, First Lady; he said that there will be a role for her to play, once the things get going, despite the danger of being accused of promoting nepotism.

Since he declared his intention during the campaign, Mr Macron will stick to his promise. With a devoted wife at his side, Mr Macron may be hoping to make a difference in the French politics, despite the odd against the move being very high.

- Asian Tribune -

The French Election 2017:
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