10. France Elected Its Youngest-Ever President
Let’s start with this week’s big story. On Sunday, May 7, the French public went to the polls to elect their new president. They wound up picking the youngest in French history.
Self-styled “radical centrist” Emmanuel Macron is only 39 years old. Less than a year ago, he quit his post as finance minister in the government of unpopular socialist president Francois Hollande to start his own political party, En Marche. Rest assured, this was as bonkers in France as it would be in the US. Prior to 2017, no postwar presidential candidate had won without either the Republican or Socialist party behind him. Imagine if Jack Lew had quit the Obama White House to founded a new political party in January 2016. The fact that 70 percent of you are now saying “Jack who?” shows just how bizarre a prospect this was.
And yet, Macron won. Not only that, but he won by draping himself in the EU flag, calling for more immigration, and promising to strengthen ties with Berlin. It was a move no one else dared make, and it bought him a landslide victory (66.1%–33.9%) against his right-wing opponent, Marine Le Pen. Whether Macron can actually deliver on his promises is another matter. But still, there’s no doubting that his unlikely win was the political story of the year. Continue reading “10 Mind-Blowing Things That Happened Last Week”