Marine Le Pen has got herself a plan.
See the thing is, she’s a Nazi. Much like her dad. Only not quite as much.
The thing about being a Nazi and winning elections is that it’s hard. And the reason it’s so hard is because the last time a Nazi was in power, he ethnically cleansed 6 million people and tried to take over the world.
So you know, it’s a “once bitten, twice shy” type of thing.
So the above-mentioned plan goes something like this: try not to be so goddamn Nazi-ish.
Earlier this week, Marine executed on that plan by stepping down as FN leader. On Saturday, she’s taking another step in the “I really need to try and appeal to a wider voter base” direction by naming defeated first-round candidate Nicolas Dupont-Aignan as her prime minister.
To be sure, Dupont-Aignan is ideologically similar to Le Pen on some stuff. Stuff like protectionism and generally being a nationalist.
Reuters says this is “a bid to attract his voters and help [Le Pen] to victory over centrist favorite Emmanuel Macron.”
The only problem with that is that Dupont-Aignan doesn’t actually have any voters. He marshaled an “impressive” 4.7% of the vote in the first round. Here’s what Bruno Jeanbart, deputy-CEO of pollster Opinionway said today:
The potential gain of additional votes from the rallying of conservative politician Nicolas Dupont-Aignan for French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen will be limited.
Le Pen can hope to gain one to two additional percentage points and even that is doubtful as part of those who voted for Dupont-Aignan in the first round had initially planned to vote for Republican’s candidate Francois Fillon but were disappointed by him
Dupont-Aignan won less than 5% of the votes in the first round and it’s far from enough to help (Le Pen) catch up with Macron.
The question is not who is going to win the second round, but Macron’s and Le Pen’s scores and by how much Macron is going to win
Half of those who voted for Dupont-Aignan had already planned to vote for her anyway.
Right. So this isn’t really a “story” per se.
But what is a story is this (via Reuters):
A remembrance ceremony for the policeman killed last week by an attacker in Paris “exalted” the concept of gay marriage, far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen’s father said on Friday, courting controversy for his daughter’s campaign.
Jean-Marie Le Pen, the National Front (FN) party founder from whom his daughter has sought to distance herself because of his controversial views, criticized a speech made at the ceremony by the dead policeman’s partner earlier this week.
“The long speech he made in some way institutionalized homosexual marriage, exalted it in a public way, and that shocked me,” Le Pen said in an interview on his web site.
So that’s no good.
Especially considering it comes just two days after a journalist dug up an old interview with interim FN leader Jean-François Jalkh who had the following to say (in 2000) about the Nazi gas chambers:
“I say that we must be able to discuss even this problem [of the gas chambers],” begins Mr. Jalkh, before making the distinction between the revisionists “stamped” and “provocateurs” who are “detestable people” and the deniers “serious” as Robert Faurisson ( repeatedly condemned for “contesting crimes against humanity” ), which he praises the “rigor” of the argument.
“There is no deliberate will to harm anyone,” he continues, defending himself as a negationist, before explaining that he asked a chemist on the Zyklon B, a gas used by the Nazis in their industry of extermination: “I consider that from a technical point of view it is impossible, I say impossible to use it in (…) exterminations of mass. Why ? Because it takes several days before decontaminating a room (…) where Zyklon B was used. “
See, this is why you should be particularly wary of “analysis” that purports to explain why Marine Le Pen is a good idea when it comes to the future of France and, more generally, the future of global relations.