May 13, 2022

In the Creuse, the quasi-candidate Macron tries to break his image of “president of the cities”

By Alexandre Lemarie

Posted today at 2:28 a.m., updated at 5:33 a.m.

The question is direct, the answer a little more vague. “Are you standing for re-election? » asks a young person from the agricultural school in Ahun, a town of 1,400 inhabitants in Creuse. “I will announce my decision in due course”, responds Emmanuel Macron. While his intention to seek his succession is beyond doubt, the one who is increasingly acting as “candidate president” once again took care to temporize, Monday, January 24, during the first stage of his trip to this department, devoted to rural issues, which will continue in Haute-Vienne until Tuesday.

“I will continue to fight until the end because we still have a lot to do. If everything had been settled… This is not the case! » he then evaded, clearly anxious to take advantage of his position as head of state for as long as possible in the face of his adversaries. Before summing up, all smiles: “Answer to the next episode. »

Emmanuel Macron talks with students from the agricultural high school in Ahun (Creuse), January 24, 2022.

Banner of disgruntled peasants

As if he wanted to evacuate from the start the subject of his candidacy for the presidential election, scheduled for April 10 and 24, to look into the specific subjects of this “territory”. Less than three months from the first round, Mr. Macron decided to dive into these landlocked lands in central France, in order to send a message to all voters living in the countryside. A way of breaking the image of “president of cities”, which has stuck with him since the start of the five-year term. This label, which was strongly criticized during the movement of “yellow vests”, stems from an electoral reality: during the presidential election of 2017, he had achieved his best scores in the metropolises. It earned him regular accusations from the opposition of being “disconnected from the territories”, “above ground”, and not to know ” Deep France “.

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To twist the neck of what the Elysée considers an unfounded caricature, Emmanuel Macron therefore began by handling symbols. Is it depicted as an urban? As soon as he arrived, he went to admire an imposing Limousin cow, which will make the trip to the Salon de l’agriculture in February. A kind of obligatory passage in this type of trip, since Jacques Chirac popularized the image of the president “feeling the ass of the cows”. Then the Head of State especially praised at length his record for rurality.

Emmanuel Macron admires an imposing Limousin cow, which will make the trip to the Agricultural Show, on January 24, 2022, in Ahun (Creuse).

First, by seeking to convince of its determination to improve the lot of farmers. “We must completely revalue your professions”, he launched to some of them during an exchange in the barn of the agricultural high school, promising that the implementation of the Egalim 2 law would produce its effects quickly, after a disappointing first part. “Income is the mother of battles”, supported the Minister of Agriculture, Julien Denormandie, present alongside Mr. Macron – in the company of the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, and the Secretary of State for Rurality, Joël Giraud. Proactive remarks, far from reassuring local operators. On the journey of the President of the Republic, a huge poster had been erected in a field by disgruntled peasants, with the inscription: “Agriculture is slowly dying, you don’t give a damn. »

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