Pro-European Union centrist Emmanuel Macron beat anti-EU right-winger Marine Le Pen to become president of France, but political observers say the charismatic outspoken nationalist isn’t going away.
Macron, who had never run for office before, celebrated with thousands of jubilant, flag-waving supporters outside the Louvre Museum in Paris last night. The European anthem “Ode to Joy” played as he strode out to address the swelling crowd.
Le Pen quickly called Macron to concede after voters rejected her “French-first” nationalism by a large margin. Le Pen’s performance dashed her hopes that the populist wave behind President Trump and the Brexit vote to leave the EU also would carry her to France’s presidency.
GOP consultant Ford O’Connell told the Herald, “I think the nationalism is only gaining steam in France, and part of this is going to be the solutions that Macron puts forth for radical Islamic terror and border security is only going to prime the pump for another nationalist candidate.”