Brigitte Macron or squaring the first lady’s circle

If Pap Ndiaye is short of ideas, I hope he reads Le Parisien-Aujourd’hui in France. Uniforms, cell phone bans, fight against harassment… This is almost the ministerial program for National Education that Brigitte Macron revealed in her interview with readers. The Daily isn’t wrong there; he chose to highlight this sentence: “I am to wear the school uniform.”

Thus the wife of the head of state is placed in direct contradiction with the minister. Days earlier, Pap Ndiaye had closed his doors: “Putting on the uniform doesn’t solve the problem […] forcing it on all the students is a no.”

Government, partisan and ideological interference

The exit of Brigitte Macron therefore caused some disturbances. First, government intervention (under François Hollande, it was called the “hiccup” to save time, given the frequency of the phenomenon). Two contradictory visions which, published, weaken the coherence of the whole. The “first teacher of France” faces the “first lady of France”. Hosts of rue de Grenelle can rightfully feel weak, rejected even.

Of course, Brigitte Macron especially expressed her convictions as a former teacher. It also limits its political positions to the field of education. In the same interview, he was careful to contact hospital management or the Quatennens files. Nevertheless, the opponents of the government only used to destabilize the successor of Jean-Michel Blanquer.

The second distraction is the partisans. The credit for this uniform fell on the day… when the National Rally proposed putting it on the students. The Marine Le Pen party has put this proposal on its parliamentary agenda. Odd, unintentional, but mostly a hitchhiking creates some shift in shape. How do you counteract the RN initiative without appearing to undermine the position of the “big boss” wife? Or vice versa, how to support Brigitte Macron’s ideas without choosing the RN text? Please stretch the adductor, watch out for tactical distractions…

The third disturbance is ideological. Macronism, a concept that is sometimes vague, is based on a clear ambition: a break with the “old world”. An end to worm-eaten political reflexes, outdated rituals and codes. Can the proclaimed “new world”, with its eyes fixed on “France of 2030”, embrace uniform nostalgia? Blue blouse? Difficult, let alone contradictory.

Admittedly, Brigitte Macron’s égrainé argument holds true: uniforms would be free from the tyranny of looks, brand costs and glaring inequalities. And his words did not implicate the head of state, with whom he also acknowledged repeated disagreements.

So where does the anxiety associated with this political position come from? Not just political games or a passion for controversy.

The role is mission impossible

Ve the republic does not recognize the official existence of the wife – or husband – of the Head of State. As a result, by asserting political choice, any first lady appears to be taking on a function that neither the constitution, nor the law, nor the elector’s anointing affords her.

In his defense, his role was mission impossible – in France as nowhere else. “No job description, you have to make your own”said Hillary Clinton knowingly.

Honestly, there’s only bad choice to make if you share your life with the president of France: if you remain mute and immobile, you’re suspected of living at the expense of the country. On the other hand, if you act, you are accused of exceeding universal suffrage.

Likewise, if you appear in public as a couple, people will criticize your “taste for com”, “people’s government”, “indecent staging”… But you disappear, and everyone will be surprised by this “loneliness”, president the “lonely”, even the “dehumane” president. The success of the newspaper person disclosing the intimacy of politicians – a mandatory passage for every candidate – shows our ambiguity. It is a puritan voyeur (pardon the oxymoron).

Contradictory orders that each first lady tries to resolve, in her own way. Often through charitable or humanitarian commitments, halfway between inaction and pure politics.

The predecessor of “Barometer”.

Bernadette Chirac and Brigitte Macron devote their time to Yellow Pieces. Danielle Mitterrand spent her time writing to prisoners (without forgetting to embarrass her husband with statements that were always more leftist than his politics).

Others have cultivated their gardens or their careers: Valérie Trierweiler in journalism and Carla Bruni in the song – “As if nothing had happened”, her title album released in 2008, during Sarkozyist’s mandate.

All presented themselves willingly as “barometers”, informing their husbands’ presidents about the mood of the country. “Nobody saw it coming, except Bernadette”, exclaimed Jacques Chirac just after FN’s qualification for the second round in 2002. Then General Councilman Corrèze, he is said to have felt, in Limousin soil, the wind favored the right flank.

“I can’t stop echoing” to Emmanuel Macron, added Brigitte Macron to readers of Le Parisien. Like direct contact with real life, to get the hapless president out of technocratic isolation? About the courtiers who are ready to think? From the influence of advisors who are too similar, too identical, too… “uniform”?

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