A few days ago, former president Barack Obama made a call to French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron to wish him luck in the French election. Now Obama has made another call, this time a video call, to the people of France.
“Because of how important this election is, I also want you to know that I am supporting Emmanuel Macron to lead you forward. En Marche! Viva la France!” Obama declared in the last 10 seconds of his endorsement video, which ran just longer than a minute in total.
He began the clip with a few words of praise for the relationship between France and the United States, and then got down to it: “I’m not planning to get involved in many elections now that I don’t have to run for office again, but the French election is very important to the future of France and the values that we care so much about.”
Obama continued by complimenting Macron’s liberal values and his vision. Macron’s opponent, right-wing nationalist Marine Le Pen, who is often compared to Donald Trump, was never explicitly mentioned by Obama. He did, however, make some implied comparisons by complimenting Macron’s choice of appealing to hopes rather than demagoguing.
His decision to speak out about the French election underscores the degree to which France’s election has become a tipping point for the fate of the European Union. He’s been nearly radio silent otherwise, despite the controversial Trump policies, many of which have reversed Obama’s own efforts in the White House. In the classic Obama yes-we-can way, he encourages, “I know that you face many challenges and I want all of my friends in France to know how much I am rooting for your success.”