On April 20, just days before the first round of the French election, former president Obama caused a diplomatic stir when Reuters reported that he had spoken on the phone with French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron - the market-friendly candidate preferred by Europe's establishment. Quick to avoid the perception of yet another foreign interference (who can forget Obama's strong condemnation of the Brexit campaign last summer), in a statement from Kevin Lewis, spokesperson to President Barack Obama, he said that "an endorsement was not the purpose of the call, as President Obama is not making any formal endorsement in advance of the run-off election on Sunday."
Meanwhile, Macron said Obama simply wanted to exchange views about the French presidential campaign and that the ex-president had stressed how important the relationship between the two countries was. Macron's party "En Marche!" said in a statement that "Emmanuel Macron warmly thanked Barack Obama for his friendly call."
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Two weeks later, Obama no longer had any qualms about the optics of interfering in the French election, and moments ago, in a video clip released on Emanual Macron's official twitter feed, Obama officially endorsed the former Rothschild banker Emmanuel Macron.
"I'm not planning to get involved in many elections now that I don't have to run for office, but the French election is very important to the future of France and the values that we care so much about, because the success of France matters to the entire world", Obama said in the clip.
“He appeals to people’s hopes and not their fears,” he said. “And he is committed to a better future for the French people. He has stood up for liberal values. He put forward a vision for the important role that France plays in Europe and around the world.”
Well, Obama did get involved in the Brexit vote, and he did so by endorsing the losing side. So perhaps it's a good thing that the former US president has kept his foreign political involvement to a minimum. Whether his intervention will have an impact remains to be seen, but in any case stating that Emmanuel Macron has "stood up for liberal values" Obama enrosed the 39-year-old candidate, saying "I am supporting Emmanuel Macron to lead you forward.”
“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" the former president added.
“Because of how important this election is, I also want you to know I am supporting Emmanuel Macron to lead you forward. En march. Vive la France.”