Think President Trumps popularity is falling fast? Frances new chairwoman, Emmanuel Macron, cant even dedicate an apple to his favorite educator who merely happens to be his wife.
The same newspapers and magazines who lionized Macron for saving France from the specter of Marine Le Pen, the populist who Macron defeated in May , now taunts the 39 -year-old as Jupiter because of the air of superiority he dedicates off in public. A poll last week demonstrated his approval rating at 36 percentage, lower even than Trumps recent shocking 38 percentage of support.
This week, Macron got the latest slap of disapproval from his own government, which rejected his campaign pledge to give the official title of First Lady to his wife, Brigitte, who at age 64, is 24 years his senior. The two satisfied when Macron was a high school student and she was his teacher. Hmmm.
As in the United States, Frances constitution stimulates no mention of the role of a chairpeople spouse. Trying to change that as one of Macrons first presidential actions was bound to rile public opinion. Even the governments spokesman tweeted out, in plain French, so to speak, No modification of the constitution , no new funding , no wage for Brigitte Macron. Stop the hypocrisy!
In other terms , no apple for the teacher.
Macrons first three months in office have not run smoothly. His defense minister, Sylvie Goulard, stepped down in June after being accused of misusing funds to help her party. Twenty-four hours earlier, another minister abruptly discontinued, under investigation for nepotism.
Macron did himself no favors when he decided not to continue the decades-old tradition of devoting a press conference on July 14, Bastille Day, because his thoughts were too complex for journalists to comprehend. That generated the kind of vicious headlines you but apparently , not Jupiter — might expect.
Perhaps Macrons most unpopular move has been an effort to reform Frances byzantine labor code, which builds it nearly impossible to fire or discipline workers, bypass unions, or modify pensions. Those unions, which supported Macron against Le Pen, reacted with fury when he talked about tinkering with the code that gives them nearly unlimited power.
Proof of how seriously the unions take their privileged position: they even got workers to turn out for demoes in August, when all of France is on vacation and official Paris comes to a near standstill.
If Macron is forced to back down on his union-busting scheme, Jupiter will once again be shown to have feet of clay. Even a high school kid knows better than to mess with organized labor in France. Maybe teenaged Macron was thinking about something else the day that lesson was taught.
John Moody is Executive Vice President, Executive Editor for Fox News. A former Rome bureau chief for Time magazine, he is the author of four volumes including ” Pope John Paul II: Biography . ”
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