Sponsored by Dunhill Financial and the Adrian Leeds Group
May 30, 2017 4 to 8 p.m. Chez Jenny, Paris, France
Seven international speakers are coming together for this very special event in Paris, France!:
• Brian Dunhill, Dunhill Financial • Christelle Colairo , Moneycorp Exchange Experts • Michael Larsen, American Citizens Abroad • Adrian Leeds, Adrian Leeds Group • Carl Mir, Mir Enterprises US • Amaury de Monclin, Blue Sky Finance • Peter Zipper, Caye International Bank
Even though I can't vote in France, I was curious to learn more about presidential hopeful Emmanuel Macron's platform and constituency. The rally that took place Monday afternoon at the Paris Event Center at Porte de la Villette in the 19th, was the perfect opportunity to see him live and hear what he has to say.
Attendees filed in past security guards after complete scrutiny into the main building and when that filled up, to an auxiliary building with a big screen. Flags (EU and French), signs and even T-shirts in yellow, blue and pink with different slogans printed on their chests were being handed out. We arrived on the late side and were ushered into the secondary building. The crowd assembled in front of the big screen and patiently waited for him to take center stage at 5 p.m. as they waved their flags.
Emmanuel Macron live
Macron on Screen in overflow building
Napoleon III, France's youngest president...so far
One of the first things he did when he took center stage was to wink. It's become his sign, or mark. While he spoke for more than an hour-and-a-half (!!), the crowd was amazingly respectful, even if tired from standing. When he said something they liked, they applauded and waved their flags. When he spoke of the opposition, they boo-ed. They responded with various phrases that have become the slogans of his campaign: "On va gagner!" (We will win!) "Macron, Président." And when he criticized the National Front's platform, the crowd would chant, "On n'en veut pas!" (We don't want it!)
These were the middle class and multi-ethnic French. They were old and young alike. They were every color and every class. They like him and they liked what he said. They were well behaved and friendly. I was impressed with the crowd of constituents more than even Monsieur Macron himself, and observed that while in the U.S. the slogans are normally positive, such as "Yes, We Can," the French prefer to see the positive in the negative sense with "On n'En Veut Pas!"
After he spoke in the larger primary building, he came over to our side where the crowd went nuts trying to get close. A few women managed to get a kiss and they screamed in delight. Those with phone cameras were snapping away, just as I was. When he left, we left, too, and headed toward public transportation. On route, an elderly gentleman clearly inebriated asked me why I was carrying a French flag, so I responded with the explanation that we had just come from the Macron rally, to which he replied, "He's crazy and he's dangerous."
Those are words I've heard before to describe Marine Le Pen, the candidate for the right-wing National Front, but not about Emmanuel Macron. I wondered what it was about him he thought was crazy or dangerous. I certainly didn't hear him say anything that I'd describe that way. In fact, he was very, very sane and very, very open-minded. In truth, I quite liked him. He's young, and he may be inexperienced, but he seems presidential in spite of his youth.
Remember John F. Kennedy? He was a youthful 43 years old when he took office as President of the U.S. Only Teddy Roosevelt was younger than him at 42 years old and Bill Clinton was a bit older at 46 years old. Macron is only 39 years old. The only French president even close to this young age was Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (Napoleon III) who took office at the age of 40 in 1848, so if Macron takes office, he will be the youngest ever to serve such an important role in France and the world.
What's going to happen this coming Sunday when the French vote to elect their next president? Your guess is as good as mine -- it may more depend on the "Ni-Ni's" than those who will vote for one or the other. These are the people who want neither Le Pen nor Macron and refuse to vote for either. The thought is that a non-vote is a vote for Le Pen.
We'll see...and I'll be watching from my friend's house in the Luberon, Provence...where Ms. Le Pen had strong favor. See the New York Times article for the details on "How the Election Split France."
Stay tuned when I'll be writing from Provence on Monday, May 8th!
Special Note: MEET THE AUTHORS! On Saturday, June 3rd, six local authors will be coming together in the Riviera city of Nice to give you the opportunity to discover their books and their stories: Julia Allen, Lisa Anselmo, Kristin Espinasse, Margo Lestz, Patrick Murphy and Patricia Sands. They will talk about their recent works, read a bit from them and answer your questions. You will have an opportunity to purchase their books and get signed copies! I'm Emceeing the event and will share a bit of my own experiences. It's free (but we ask that you purchase at least one drink) and it's sure to be fun! Join us...
Meet the Authors! Saturday, June 3, 2017 3 to 5 p.m. Scotch Tea House 4 avenue Suède, 06000 Nice
P.S. Don't miss this month's Après Midi May 9, when writer, editor, writing coach, and teacher of writing and of literature Janet Hulstrand, joins us. She'll be presenting information about "The Year of Renoir...a summer-long celebration of the Renoir legacy in Champagne." Full details on our Après Midi page. Join us!
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