He is 39, bright and handsome

When the tv screen announced at 8 pm that Emmanuel Macron had won with the overwhelming score of 65,8% (actually 66,1% the day after) our hearts suddenly exploded and respite overtook us. What a relief and what a great victory ! I want to thank all of you, faithful readers and friends, who sent text and e mail messages from Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Poland and the US. It was as if suddenly, the year long series of International bad surprises in the polls had ended. France and Europe can now take a new start.

Walking alone through the courtyard of the Louvre at 10.30 pm

From Andy Borowitz’s New Yorker editorial « French annoyingly retain right to claim Intellectual superiority over Americans », to the cover of the Spectator in London, to the hilarious tweets related by the Figaro on Monday, a great sense of humor and immense joy are celebrating this election. At the Arch of Triumph on May 8th, President Hollande was guiding the President elect like he would his own son. They were both obviously moved and the military ceremony became a friendly celebration of the election. The old soldiers who had fought the war were smiling at the youth of their new President and the biting cold of May did not seem to affect anyone.

The day after, Emmanuel Macron joins President Hollande for the celebrations of May 8, 1945

When he walked alone on the esplanade of the Louvre accompanied by the sound of Beethoven’s « Ode to Joy » (the final movement of the 9 th symphony and the European hymn), Emmanuel Macron, the youngest President of the 5 th Republic, had the simplicity and the composure of a great chief. But mostly, what struck us all was the energy and dynamic of the crowds.

Both his speeches sounded genuine with no weasel words. Because he is not a politician, we can hope he will be pragmatic and as he said : « I have five years to make sure that the French do not want to vote for extremist parties anymore ».

I.M. Pei’s Pyramid is a reminder of Napoleon’s campaigns in Egypt and a great background for his speech

« I know what I owe you » were his first words, « France has won… everyone said it was impossible but they did not know France ». « I will not disappoint you, I will carry the impulse which is yours, the surge you represent ». « Europe and the world expect us to defend everywhere the spirit of Enlightment, of freedom. They expect us to carry far a new humanism and a new hope. Our task is huge, to moralise public life, to strenghthen our economy, to enforce school, work and culture, to assure security for all Frenchmen, to be audacious…”

Benjamin Griveaux

When I heard his “En Marche” movement spokesman, Benjamin Griveaux, elected in Chalon sur Saône (Burgundy) speak, I suddenly realised that our new politicians would be young, handsome and well read. What a change!

Ismael Emelien, 29, met Macron 11 years ago

His French was impeccable and yet simple, his emotion visible, he was almost in tears after this incredible victory of a movement founded a year ago. And he almost admitted his own surprise at the success.

A few minutes later, I heard 29 year old communicator Ismael Emelien and 33 year old Mounir Mahjoubi discuss Friday night’s hacking with great calm. These young guys are quite impressive! And they already have a career behind them!

Mounir Mahjoubi, numeric and computer expert, calmly explained how the hacking did not affect anyone

On the 8 th of May, anniversary of the Second World War’s liberation, there was a feeling of the Resistance having won a second time. De Gaulle was not far away, and the bling bling era of Sarkozy was very remote.

Now the June 11 polls will tell if he can exhilarate enough followers to have a majority in parliament for “La République en marche”, Mar-cron new political party. But it seems that already, a large smile is forming on every Frenchman‘s face… there is hope at the corner.

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9 Comments on “Done!”

  1. Karen Knorr

    Vive la France ! I am so happy about the outcome ! I was in Tbilisi when the news came through and all my Georgian friends lifted their glasses to toast this new beginning in French politics !

  2. Catherine

    Bravo Laure pour ces traductions si fidèles où souffle l’élan de notre jeune nouveau pré fais tout mon possible depuis des mois pour persuader amis et relations de droite comme de gauche de le soutenir… avec plus ou moins de succès mais j’espère que l’émotion que nous avons toutes les deux comme beaucoup d’autres ressentie dimanche soir en le voyant si grave mais aussi à la fois humble et victorieux , et en écoutant ses paroles si justes va désarmer les sceptiques

  3. Liz Tirrell

    Ed and I felt such a sense of relief at Macron’s decisive victory over Le Pen. I can tell you all you would (or wouldn’t) want to know about how most in your country would feel had she been placed in office by, perhaps, Putin. Viva la France. We are very happy for you all as we are living through the repulsive alternative.
    We live in an America that is whipsawed virtually every day by another disturbing revelation emitting from the donald j. trump White House. It is a shame, shame, shame.
    Conservative columnist George Will wrote a piece with the heading: “Uninterested in knowledge, Trump’s mind invites peril.” He goes on to say, “It is urgent for Americans to think and speak clearly about donald trump’s inability to do either. This seems to be not a mere disinclination but a disability. It is not merely the result of intellectual sloth but of an untrained mind bereft of information and married to stratospheric self-confidence.” (ps: I will not now or ever capitalize trump’s name—it’s akin to a newscaster calling a mass murderer a “gentleman.”)

  4. Jorge Virgili

    Laure – in all the time that I have been reading you I was wondering when you were to enter a political comment (unless I have missed it unintentionally)…you have now “done” it quite timely and fairly without having to resort to satire…I admire your elegance and intelligence – the way in which you have managed to stay away from the temptation of entering the meddle of political garb and rhetoric is admirable…let us hope that we can all move away from pure political entertainment into concrete “action” which is bound to reveal that which is just and virtuous…now, in the like of the tragic-comic poets of time’s past, you can carry on delighting our hearts with that which you are a Master of…thank you.

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