Macron does his mea culpa

“I’m not who you think …” So we could sum up the interview with Emmanuel Macron on TF1-LCI, Wednesday 15 December , with journalists Audrey Crespo-Mara and Darius Rochebin. A correction of image which was essential since indeed it passes for “president of the rich”, which is “the opposite of its values”, he protested. But he went further, much further than all the French heads of state before him, whose culture has always been the opposite of the “mea culpa” which Anglo-Saxons are fond of. Now spurred on by his two interlocutors and the desire to attack the next presidential campaign relieved if possible of his caricature, he beat his guilt, revisiting his “little phrases” which, he regrets, could have hurt, as he felt hurt after Eric Zemmour (whom he did not name) declared that he himself was “nobody, that he was nothing”. “I have hurt people,” he insisted with regret, assuring, “I will not do it again. We can continue to shake things up, while not hurting!”

Defend the presidential office even when you like to transgress

Sincerity and / or pure communication operation? Everyone will judge, but the president had accents of authenticity in his confession and also when he confessed his “naivety” about the photo taken in Saint-Martin with two young boys who “played fools”, addressing fingers of honor to the photographer and in a way to the presidential office that must be “protected”. “By temperament,” he specified, “I expose myself, I go into contact”, but in this period of selfies, “every moment of relaxation can shock”. We will therefore not repeat it. Likewise, he will not repeat certain sentences which have had catastrophic echoes in public opinion, to the point of anchoring his reputation for arrogance and estrangement from everyone. Because we are in a media world of “decontextualization”, according to his expression, which he recognized as complicated, and we summarize by two sentences taken out of context a thought that went in a very different direction. Example with the young man to whom he had advised to cross the street to find a job, which proceeded from a desire to “help”, he assured.

Showing infinite respect for everyone to make a difference

Thus he would have been misunderstood, which, he is aware, polluted his action. And to note, which would indeed sign a maturation with the difficult exercise of the power: “one does not make anything move if one does not bear an infinite respect for each one”. These years of exercise of power and crises would therefore have allowed his transformation into a (candidate) president, ready much more than before to assume the supreme office with a humanity that may have been lacking.

“I learned”, he declared gravely. He even repeated it, “we learned together”, as if we had to continue together. “I have learned to love better,” he added again. We thought we heard the echo of the words of Nicolas Sarkozy, who in March 2012 affirmed with similar gravity: “I learned. I understood!” The Elysée is a harsh school, which is also that of popular ingratitude. You are not grateful for your successes while you are held to blame for your failures. As they say: “swallowed bite has no flavor”. But macronists will also say that some whet the appetite.