As charming as she is currently, the candidate for the French presidency is pro-Putin and anti-European.
Her name is Phoebus. In the Tiktok video, she purrs comfortably on her beaming owner’s arm. A few kilometers from Paris, in the small town of La Celle-Saint-Cloud, Marine Le Pen breeds Bengal cats. The 53-year-old candidate for the French presidency completed the officially prescribed training during the Covid lockdown: “I could throw everything away and do something else. Breeding cats, for example,” the head of the Rassemblement National (RN) party recently confided in a French newspaper. Marine, the cat mommy.
For decades, the name Le Pen was synonymous with the seedy corner of French right-wing extremism. When Marine Le Pen appeared aggressive and incompetent in the TV debate before the crucial second round of the last presidential election in 2017, she seemed to have finally disqualified herself for the highest office in the Grande Nation.
In recent months, however, she launched a charm offensive and tried to present herself as a moderate stateswoman with social ideas. The motto of her election campaign is: “Marine – femme d’État”. The name of her father Jean-Marie Le Pen (93), who described the murder of millions of Jews by Germany’s Nazis as a “detail of history”, is no longer mentioned: there is only marine. She sings chansons until one o’clock in the morning, is a passionate gardener and shares a flat with her best friend.
A third finds them “sympathetic and sincere”
“I send friends photos of my flowers,” she told talk show hosts. She wears a pastel colored blazer with a winning smile. A third of French people now find the face of the right-wing extremist candidate “sympathetic and cordial”. “She can, you have to put it that way, be pretty nice,” even the left-liberal German weekly Die Zeit wrote after meeting “Tante Marine”.
The image change has paid off: a week from today there will be a déjà vu of the TV dispute with Emmanuel Macron (44), the incumbent head of state.
She was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1968 – as Marion Anne Perrine Le Pen. Even her name is apparently changeable. The French have known the youngest daughter of Jean-Marie and his ex-wife Pierrette since she was a child. The girl is photographed in the pink and white checked dress for magazines, she is raised by a nanny. In her autobiography she describes special problems of her school days. One teacher wrote “Father Fascist” in the margin of her class work. When she was eight years old, her family’s house was bombed. The small navy draws its conclusion: “That was the day I understood that politics is violence.”
Cat bitten to death by father’s dog
As a young adult, she buzzes through Parisian nightlife, dancing Zouk in the city’s most well-known Afro club. A career as a lawyer follows, as which she often defends without papers, two failed marriages, three children. In 2011, Le Pen took over as party leader from her father.
The break follows in 2015 when she throws him out of the party for “serious misconduct”. Shortly before, she had claimed that her cat had been bitten to death by his dog.
The dynasty would provide enough material for a tragicomic series: a clan boss with an eye patch, a mother who, after a dirty divorce battle, allows herself to be photographed for revenge for “Playboy”, a niece – Marion Maréchal – who recently joined the even more right-wing competitor Éric Zemmour ( 63) has overflowed.
“Reflexes of the Left”
After Marine dumped her father, she turned his Front National into the Rassemblement National, and the front into an assembly. With initial successes: While she had the “Republican front” against her in the last presidential duel, a vote for the “RN” is now considered acceptable in parts of these circles.
Instead of agitating against Islam as she used to, the nationalist is now ensnaring voters who prioritize social issues. Whenever possible, she refers to Emmanuel Macron as the “Jupiter President” and attacks the “elites” so cunningly that it makes many voters forget how privileged the milieu is from which she herself comes. Marine, the little people’s advocate.
Her proposals for France’s economy are very similar to those of Jean-Luc Mélenchon (70), the left winger who finished third in the first ballot a week ago. Le Pen has the “reflexes of a left”, as a TV political analyst recently summed it up. What is correct is that it mixes radical right-wing ideas with progressive economic concerns.
Political earthquake for Europe
The motto “Les Français d’abord”, the French first, still applies to their programme. Le Pen’s regular voters know this too, and they chant, as they used to, “On est chez nous” (we’re at home here).
In the United States in 2016, supporters of radical Democrat Bernie Sanders (80) helped Donald Trump (75) win. According to the latest polls, 28 percent of Mélenchon’s voters could vote for Le Pen.
For Europe, “La Pen” in the presidential chair would mean a political earthquake. Although she no longer preaches «Frexit», leaving the EU, if she were to fulfill her election promises, this would effectively contradict France’s membership. She wants to “change the European Union from within” and create a “Europe of Nations”.
Sympathy for Switzerland, thanks to the minaret initiative
In her programme, printed on glossy paper, she announces the reintroduction of border controls, a reduction in the contribution to the EU budget and an end to the principle that European law takes precedence over national law. She plans to end defense cooperation with Germany and withdraw from the NATO command structure.
It is not known what Le Pen thinks about the framework agreement between Bern and the EU. However, she has great sympathy for Switzerland, not least since the victory of the minaret initiative, which she recommends as a model for her program of regular referendums.
Annexation of Crimea justified
Le Pen maintains close ties with Hungary’s autocratic Prime Minister Viktor Orban (58), and Western European unity against Russia would end with her as president. She has always justified the annexation of Crimea, recently declaring that Putin could “of course” become a good partner for the West again.
Now Marine Le Pen is trying for the highest office in France for the third time. Polls show Macron as the favorite, but compared to the last presidential election, she has narrowed the gap significantly. If she succeeds, she would have achieved two political sensations: the first Madame La Présidente and a right-wing executive in the Élysée.
If it doesn’t work out, you still have the Bengal cats.
Orginal Source : Die gefährlichste Frau Europas