Macron’s Malaise Speech: Liner Notes

I have a new column up at The Federalist today, titled “Macron’s Address On France’s Populist Revolt Was Not Ready For Primetime.” This was a requested update on a story you may have noticed I have been following.

Given the “breaking” nature of the news, the column was written on a de facto deadline. As such, there’s not a ton that was left out for space considerations. It is perhaps additionally notable that Macron’s response underscores the degree to which he has been governing as a president of his country’s cities to the detriment of most everywhere else. It is understandable that he would focus on the violent protesters in Paris. Yet the remainder of his primetime address Monday revealed the degree to which he does not understand the yellow vests outside Paris. Otherwise, he would not be proposing to go on a listening tour around the country.

The speech also seemed to ramble in parts, which is odd given that he took 10 days to go on television. Some of that delay was probably a recognition that he is the face representing the people’s discontent more than the face of a solution. But a cynic may wonder whether the delay was partly based in the hope that the holidays would help diffuse the public anger at his government.

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