” No, no and no. This has no connection, either closely or remotely, with the regional elections, ”insists relentlessly the entourage of Emmanuel Macron. Still, it would have been difficult to find more meaning. Because for the third stage of his Tour de France, the president chose to go this Thursday to Hauts-de-France, at the risk of being once again accused of campaigning without saying it. On the land of Xavier Bertrand, his opponent declared for 2022, who made his re-election at the head of the region his “primary” to him, three days before the first round.
Land disputed by the RN, where five ministers, including the Keeper of the Seals, Eric Dupond-Moretti, were dispatched at the cost of controversy, but without effect in the polls – the list still tops out at around 10%. There, therefore, where a decisive vote will be played on Sunday, with issues intimately linked to the presidential election. Suffice to say that this new postcard is heavy with symbol.
“He will go into contact, that’s for sure”
Even though no minister-candidate accompanies the Head of State. Even though this trip will be centered around questions of education and culture. Emmanuel Macron will start his day with an exchange with parents of students in Poix-de-Picardie (Somme), in the school where his dear grandmother “Manette” taught, a nod to his local roots. Then direction Château-Thierry (Aisne), as part of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the birth of Jean de La Fontaine. He will be accompanied by his wife, Brigitte Macron, and actor Fabrice Luchini.
“The birth of Jean de la Fontaine is on July 8. It’s nerd, it falls after the second round! », Pique Christophe Coulon, vice-president of Xavier Bertrand for the region. Last stop in an RN bastion, finally: Villers-Cotterêts (Aisne), for a visit to its major construction site, that of the Cité internationale de la langue française.
At the Élysée, we stick to the mantra of this French tour: “support the reopening, support the relaunch, take the pulse of the country”. No stroll is formally included in the program, even if, after the slap received during his previous stage, “he will go into contact, that’s for sure,” says a relative. No allusion, on paper, to the current campaign. Remains a very… political scent.
Xavier Bertrand could be present at the Republican reception
A sign: the tone turned sour from the preparation of the trip. At the beginning of June on RTL, while it was rumored that Emmanuel Macron could visit the Saint-Jean Fair in Amiens, Xavier Bertrand blurted out as follows: “They have it opened on purpose two days before so that the President of the Republic can campaign” . “A little demago”, replies a Macronist. Will the two men meet on Thursday? Xavier Bertrand could be present in the morning for the Republican reception. Even if his team still assured yesterday afternoon that they had not been warned of anything. The boss of the region will spend part of his day in the Oise, where he will see another president, that of LR, Christian Jacob, come to support him. “Xavier Bertrand is in the countryside, Emmanuel Macron is in the countryside,” says his entourage.
“The president is a politician and there is no reason why he should be the only politician not to play politics! », Retorts a minister. Another, “very worried” about the abstention and the score of the RN in general, would even like it to go a little further: “The call for mobilization is essential. It would be good if he launched it before the first round… ”While waiting to know if this minister will be heard, there will therefore be a postcard.