SWMBO and I are suitable objects for mockery by Joe Scarborough. We speak French, are proud of that and are correctly to be described as Francophile. We subscribe to TV 5 Monde and watch it a lot. IMO Mr. Jefferson was correct when he remarked that all civilized people have two languages, their own and French.
We were watching the election extravaganza on TV 5 on Sunday when the polls closed in France. They all closed at the same time, 8 PM EDT. Within 30 seconds the network announced the outcome and the victory of Emanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. Evidently the French have the whole country wired together in such a way that reporting is instantaneous. There were a few precincts/districts/whatever not reporting but only a few. I presume these are the result of overseas voting or something similar. It was a remarkable demonstration of highly effective electoral administration. Turnout was reported at 78%. This was also remarkable although the French media seemed to think it was low.
There were 11 candidates. Some were a little silly when viewed from outside the system. There was one man who ran from the Atlantic end of the Pyrenees Mountains. This is a charming region but not likely to serve as a national political base. And then there was Francois Fillon, a former prime minister and centrist who went down in a classic political mess caused by his own foolishness in hiring his wife and son for "no show" government jobs. H probably would have won without that.
The two winners are fascinatingly un-American:
Marine Le Pen, the daughter of an old combatant of the Algeria War. He was a paratroop intelligence officer in the Battle of Algiers and evidently is not a "people person." He founded a relentlessly nationalist, anti-Muslim, isolationist and xenophobic political party. Le Pen received 37% of the working class vote. Her support is concentrated in the economically devastated industrial north and in the sunny south where people are faced on a daily basis with what many see as a demographic and culture menace across the Mediterranean Sea. Le Pen was raised in a privileged way with attendance at elite schools and residence in elite neighborhoods but that does not seem to lessen working class support for her. She is a very considerable orator but the other candidates are rapidly closing ranks against her and telling their supporters to vote for Macron.
Emanuel Macron is 39 years old, a former investment banker, finance minister and a graduate of the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA). He is pro-EU, pro-immigrant and a movie star or shirt ad model type. the most interesting thing about him is his marriage. His wife is 24 years his senior. She was his high school Latin and French literature teacher at a Jesuit school in Amiens. He was 15 when they became "an item." She divorced her first husband to marry Macron in 2007. She has three children by her first marriage. They live with the Macrons. Interestingly the French are simply not interested in his private life. I remember the case of a pretty blond teacher in the NW of the US who fell madly in love with a 14 year old boy in her class. I seem to remember that she was a phys ed teacher. She eventually went to prison as a child molester. They married after she served her sentence.
This illustration of the difference in attitude toward life between most Americans and the French is striking this matter. Mme. Macron will probably e the first lady of France. pl