Macron aims to preside, not Rule


Emmanuel Macron will soon become President of France. Many challenges await him in office. The toughest challenge, however, is to win back the respect for the presidential post from the people who elected him in the first place-the voters. He will have to convince a number of skeptical voters that he is not an elitist. The walk towards this aim is like putting one's feet on a tightrope- one false step, and he will fail.

Non-meddling president

If the early indications from Macron's team are to taken seriously, the new president's style will be nearer to a chairman and not a chief executive who interferes in the functioning of every ministry. This view is echoed by Benjamin Griveaux, who said that the president will provide longer term directions and views. He will not take a decision on how a ministry will adjust its budget.

Even though Macron has won a convincing victory, he is taking the leadership of a country which is extremely divided. He also faces skepticism whether he will help those French citizens who have been left bereft in modern day France. The new president-elect has a number of role models to choose from. Each of his predecessors had pitfalls.

Past leaders 

Nicolas Sarkozy, one of his predecessors in the French presidency was a hyperactive leader after he won the election in 2007. He borrowed his methods from the personality concentrated American political news cycle. Voters, however, became quickly irritated by him due to his holidays in foreign locales, meddling in departments held by other ministers and a knack for showbiz. He soon earned the “President Bling-Bling” moniker and was booted out of the presidency after only one term in office. He was the first president to be elected for a single term in 25 years.

In contrast, Francois Mitterand, the longest serving (1981 to 1995) president of modern France, acted as if the rules of the position was not applicable to him. To give an example, he rejected his aides' advice to tell the French public that he has cancer. The French public saw him so less that they nicknamed him “The Sphinx”.

According to Jean Guarigues of Paris's Sciences Po institute, Macron is loath to imitate either of the past French presidents. He prefers to be a head of state who sets empirical guidelines and does not prefer to get too much involved in everyday governing.

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