She may be all about “normalizing” the image of her French extreme-right National Front party, but when Marine Le Pen came to New York this week she was in full red-carpet mode.
The FN president travelled to New York as one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World in 2015.” On the red carpet for the event she sported a blue gown and appeared on the arm of her companion Louis Aliot in a classic tuxedo.
The politician made no effort to hide her pleasure at being surrounded by such “beautiful” Americans as Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Julianne Moore. Of the two other “influential” French citizens, neither economist Thomas Piketty nor scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier made the trip across the Atlantic — nor did any of the other world leaders who made the list, among them Angela Merkel, Naredra Modi, and Kim Jong-un.
The curious onlookers surrounding the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle had no idea who Le Pen was, and — when they were told — couldn’t have cared less. But she took the time to speak to the dozen or so French journalists who came to lend their ears and microphones.
The “anti-establishment” candidate was curiously happy to be recognized among the powerful and privileged. “It’s an honor that a French woman and a French politician should be here tonight, and I think that it’s recognition of a political movement that is utterly dynamic not only across France but across Europe.”
During her last trip to New York in October of 2011, Le Pen had taken care to play up her international credentials with several meetings that were more or less successful both at the United Nations and at the US Congress. This time, she took care to boost her celebrity image. Besides the Time Magazine event, she took a boat tour around the Statue of Liberty accompanied by the French magazine Paris Match. In her interview with Olivier O’Mahony, Paris Match‘s New York correspondent, she took care to mention the recent and very public rupture with her father, to whom she assures everyone she “is no longer speaking.”
Featured image: Stock Photos from Frederic Legrand – COMEO/Shutterstock