Balance of Power: Macron Bolsters EuropeBy and
When Emmanuel Macron walked out to meet his cheering supporters last night, the music that greeted him was not “La Marseillaise,” France's stirring hymn to blood, sacrifice and patriotism.
Instead, it was Beethoven's “Ode to Joy,” a tune written nearly 200 years ago by a German that has since become the European Union's official anthem. The choice symbolized Macron's devotion to European integration and is a reminder that this is a president who wants to revitalize the EU after years of crisis.
It also shows how liberal internationalists are regaining their footing six months after Donald Trump's victory plunged them into despair. Over in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel's re-election bid picked up momentum during the weekend after her party won big in a regional election.
So when Trump shows up at the Group of Seven meeting in Sicily on May 26-27, he'll be sitting across from a newly bolstered phalanx of free traders: Macron, Merkel, Japan's Shinzo Abe and Canada's Justin Trudeau.
Macron's win is also bad news for another leader who no longer gets invited to that particular party, Russia's Vladimir Putin. He now faces two formidable opponents in Berlin and Paris.
Suddenly the old order doesn't look so tired.
And now for the hard part | The French go back to the polls in June to elect all 577 members of the lower house, giving Macron just five weeks to turn his year-old En Marche! movement into a vehicle capable of winning enough seats to govern. It won't be easy -- his party doesn't have any seats in parliament right now and analysts say he may fall short of a majority. That will force him to cut deals in order to cobble together a working coalition.
The next votes to watch | The French presidential election is over and Macron will be sworn in on Sunday. But political risk hasn’t gone away. Here’s a look at the other major elections coming up over the next 18 months from Britain and Brazil to the U.S. midterms.
Obama defends Obamacare with call for “courage” | Former President Barack Obama broke his silence on Republican attempts to dismantle his namesake law, saying it’s easy to protect the rich and powerful but harder to defend the poor and sick. “Such courage is still possible,” he said. As a repeal bill moves to the Senate, two lawmakers say they’ll produce an alternative that preserves a key part of Obamacare, affordable insurance for those with pre-existing conditions.
More like Mitterrand than Sarkozy? | In a country where the presidency carries the aura of old kings and emperors, how Macron crafts his image may be key to his success. Expect him to eschew Nicolas Sarkozy's glitz, but not to retreat so much as to be labeled a “Sphinx” like Francois Mitterrand. As John Follain and Mark Deen write, he may be more of a chairman than a CEO.
The people who will now run France | Helene Fouquet has a rundown of the aides and candidates who will help Macron make his biggest decisions. Many of them are young, white and come from the same elite schools that Macron went to. Candidates for prime minister include Valerie Pecresse, the Republican Party's chief for the Paris region, and Xavier Bertrand, who helped defeat Le Pen in her northern stronghold in elections last year.
Trump budget chief on shutdown: Bring it on | White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said the president is prepared to take drastic steps to fix a broken budget process. “If that comes to a shutdown in September, so be it,’’ Mulvaney said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” It takes 60 votes to pass spending legislation in the Senate, meaning Trump would have to cut a deal with Democrats.
Trump to nudge courts to the right | The president will press forward Monday with his effort to shift the nation’s judiciary to the right by announcing five conservative nominees to federal appeals courts, Jennifer Jacobs and Greg Stohr write today.
What next for Le Pen? | Her party allies rallied to her defense this morning after a result that is sure to disappoint her base. After Le Pen presented herself last night as the true leader of the opposition, the National Front's vice president said this morning she remains the ``uncontested'' leader of the party. The focus now, he said, is to learn from the mistakes of the campaign and adapt as parliamentary elections loom into view.
And finally... Macron carried all but two of mainland France's 96 administrative districts, or department. But as lopsided as the result was, it still reveals a divided country. Urban versus rural. White-collar versus blue-collar. Working versus unemployed. Those divisions will be on display again next month when French people head back to the polls for the parliamentary elections.