Tuesday, November 15, 2016

At the Zenith, Juppé in hardliner of the balance – Release

His rivals pounded the past three weeks on its alliance with the centre ? Hey, Juppé made up Marielle de Sarnez, right arm of François Bayrou, the scarecrow favorite sarkozystes, and the UDI Jean-Christophe Lagarde. Its competitors found it too trickle of warm water ? Accuse him of wearing “alternating ” soft”? That’s not a problem, he prides himself on “to reconcile the Fançais with the diversity of France, our wealth” (even if it no longer refers so much to his famous formula of identity happy.)

six days before the first round of the primary of the right, Alain Juppe, who held this Monday evening its big meeting at the Zenith, didn’t falter at all on his campaign strategy. So what if it is a template to speak of the former Prime minister, himself the resume : “Right in my boots, I was, right in my boots, I will stay.” It repeats the words “the gathering”, “reconciliation” and “I don transigerai not, I don reculerai not”. Bravache in his moderation, a hardliner of the balance.

This is its merit – not to give in to the temptation of populism of its main competitor –, it is his flaw – its rigidity -is in any case his bet in this campaign : to cast the net as wide as possible, right, and center, the risk of disturbing the voters of his political family as “natural”. We’ll see Sunday if Juppe has made the right choice. In any case, in the very last line right before the election, you can’t swerve an inch.

“central Campaign, not a centrist”, sells his team. On Monday evening, the VIP saloon of the Zenith of Paris, stocked to the brim claims to embody. The favorite of the primary garnered the support of his last weeks, all have rappliqué. The rallied all costs, such as Valérie Pécresse, president of the region Ile-de-France, Patrick Devedjian, Hervé Mariton, but also Jean-Louis Debré. Scarf blue around the neck, the ex-president of the constitutional Council made the tour of the rows of parliamentarians to distribute the kisses. He decided to publicly support Juppé after the election of Trump, “the drop of water” he says : “it is time that we turn the back in bling-bling and the pretty-close”. there is also the juppéistes of the first hour (Benoist Appeared, Edouard Philippe, Hervé Gaymard), heavy-very active (Jean-Piere Raffarin, Dominique Bussereau). And a battalion of the centrists (Chantal Jouanno, Jean-Marie Bockel, Philippe Vigier). The next supporters who send the dream, Alain Delon and Alain Minc.

“I have the super-fishing”

If in the other public meetings, it is not focused not on the decoration, confined to three posters here and there, for the Zenith, the team has sent the big production. Lighting white-blue-red at the time of the Marseillaise, giant screens, a quantity of flags and placards “AH !” on all of the seats. Young supporters are in the pit, some wear a t-shirt “I love Pe-ju” (a certain conception of the hype) and abuse of the fog-horn. It is that the sarkozystes, in a meeting in the same hall on 9 October, had challenged the supporters of the mayor of Bordeaux to fill the room of 6000 people. There we are. Not a juppéiste on Monday evening to forget to notice that the activists (used by many operations phoning) are also likely to feed the “Juppé for president”.

Arrived with his wife Isabelle, their candidate, to the tribune, tries to heat the room. the “I have fishing with you, I have the super-fishing”, does he attempt. Beat the stage, this is not his forte, he admits : “Before I went on stage, my team said to me, let you applaud. I have to be a trade-off between the pleasure and the passing of time.” Or even, when he cuts in, smiling, his followers, who chant “we’re going to win” : “Yes… If you let me talk.”

This is when he response to his opponents that the public goes out of control. the “I want to stay credible, do not promise the seismic shocks that would destroy what is still strong in our country, prevents the candidate. the Those who were the most pusillanimous when they were in power today show biceps “we’re going to see what we’ll see”, it was already seen…” this is for Fillon, a former Prime minister and, therefore, accounting on the balance sheet of Sarkozy. But it is mainly the ex-President who takes. If before him, Jean-Christophe Lagarde has hit very strong (“no mini-Trump at the Elysée”), Juppé is not at rest. It is a powerful “bringing together the right, the centre, the disappointed of 2012 rather than running after the FN : because yes, in 2012, many have left”. Play “the elites against the people, cleaving to cleave is a game politician is unsafe,” , warns Juppé where three weeks earlier, Sarkozy had portrayed himself as a champion of the “France of real life” against such “the elites are so powerful in the administrative sphere and in the media”.

Same room, two different atmospheres. As if the two main candidates made projects radically opposed. The one and the other offer yet the same potion liberal on economic issues and right-to-work, the same cuts in the numbers of civil servants and almost the same policies on immigration and security. It is on Europe, the environment and mainly on the position of islam as they diverge. Central, Juppé ? We’ll see. A centrist, certainly not. If he passes for a moderate, this is what Sarkozy has deviated.

Laure Equy


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