Tags: Barack Obama | Donald Trump | obama | french election | donald trump | le pen | macron

Obama Call, Trump Tweets and Their Impact on French Election

Obama Call, Trump Tweets and Their Impact on French Election
Former President Barack Obama (AP)

By    |   Sunday, 23 April 2017 11:00 PM

Barack Obama’s call to Emmanuel Macron Thursday helped the centrist businessman-politician achieve his first-place showing (23.9 percent) in France’s initial presidential voting Sunday, French political pundits told Newsmax.

The same sources, however, were not so certain that Donald Trump’s weekend tweets helped Marine Le Pen, hardliner on illegal immigration and second-place (21.7 percent) finisher in the presidential voting.

Having tweeted that the terrorist attack in Paris would have "a big effect" on the presidential election, Trump went on to praise LePen to The Associated Press as “"the strongest on what's going on within France."

Macron and Le Pen will meet in a run-off in two weeks, the winner to succeed retiring President Francois Hollande. Although spokesmen for Trump and Obama denied their words constituted endorsements, their involvement with presidential candidates in a foreign country is considered unprecedented for former and current U.S. presidents.

"The main message I have is to wish you all the best in the coming days, and make sure, as you said, you work hard all the way through," Obama said in a phone call to Macron on Thursday, "because you never know, it might be that last day of campaigning that makes all the difference."

Sources in France told Newsmax that the call was arranged by Macron communications director Laurence Haim, formerly a top reporter for French television in the U.S. and White House correspondent. 

Haim, who became Macron’s spokesman in December, was in 2009 the first foreign correspondent to interview Obama in the White House and reportedly maintains a friendly relationship with the 44th President.

"I think Obama's intervention had a marginal effect but probably solidified Macron's modern and international image," Laure Mandeville, top political correspondent for the venerable French publication "Le Figaro," told me. 

Mandeville, author of a best-selling book on Trump, said, "Same thing for Trump. I don't think it helped nor didn't, frankly, but I must say I was surprised Le Pen didn't do better."

Anne Sylvan-Chassany, FT correspondent in Paris, told us that "Obama is a very popular political figure in Paris, so it may have helped Macron's credibility."

© 2020 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


   
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Although spokesmen for Trump and Obama denied their words constituted endorsements, their involvement with presidential candidates in a foreign country is considered unprecedented for former and current U.S. Presidents.
obama, french election, donald trump, le pen, macron
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2017-00-23
Sunday, 23 April 2017 11:00 PM
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