“Emmanuel Macron has every interest in formalizing his candidacy as late as possible”, explains Stéphane Rozès

Seven months before the 2022 presidential election, Emmanuel Macron is going on campaign. Literally, since he has an appointment this Friday in the Alpes de Haute-Provence to attend the “biggest agricultural festival in the open air in Europe”. The perfect opportunity to launch an operation to seduce the agricultural world, the vote of which is traditionally carried by the Republicans or the National Rally.

For the moment, despite the kind of maneuver visible like the nose in the middle of the face, the president does not officially declare himself a candidate. For the political scientist Stéphane Rozès, president of CAP (Advice, analyzes and perspectives), Emmanuel Macron has every interest in pushing back the obvious.

Is the president on the campaign trail?

The president did not officially embark on the campaign, but in fact he is. This presidential campaign is unlike any other, and the country’s state of bewilderment linked to the crisis is beneficial: the more the French are in shock from the epidemic, the more Emmanuel Macron appears as the man who holds the country and who held him in this ordeal. As a result, he has no interest in officially launching into the campaign too soon, the stature of president exiting the country from the waves of coronavirus is beneficial to him.

But in my opinion, his unofficial start to the campaign came during his interview in Zadig, where he begins to build consistency between his analysis of his presidency, of the period, of the presidential function, and of starting to draw ideas.

Doesn’t he risk being criticized if he campaigns when the country is not sure that it is done with the coronavirus crisis?

He is in a position where he must be ready for the presidential election but where he must not escape his role as president. Not only does this role of president allow him to use the asset of this function to saturate the political space with his presence, but there is an almost nobility to make believe that he is more focused on the country than on his personal ambition. In addition, he does not need to tell what he will do for the next five years: the population already knows him as president. And we prefer a known misfortune to a promise of happiness.

In addition, during this return to school, his record seems far from disastrous. The French were worried about two things: the covid with death lurking and which could strike anyone – but now it hardly strikes anyone but the unvaccinated -, and the fear of an economic collapse, but for the ‘hour, the answers seem good. It would therefore be a very bad timing to abandon his costume of president who succeeds to be a candidate.

Not declaring yourself is also letting the other candidates do so. While electoral programs and ambitions are unveiling in all political camps, can waiting too long be fatal for Emmanuel Macron?

At the moment, there are not that many officially declared candidates. And on the contrary, the fact of procrastinating is also to its advantage. Already, as we have said, it does not need to present its program – we have lived it for five years, nor obviously to make itself known. It also spares him against certain criticisms, not only is he not yet officially a candidate so targeting him is strange, and the fact of always being more president than candidate moderates criticism, because attacking a president too hard, therefore a position that we ourselves target, would amount to a weakening in the public service that we covet.

So, what is the right timing to declare yourself?

This is above all a question of timing and content, it is in his interest to step up in his unofficial campaign, and to announce his candidacy as late as possible, so that the other candidates cannot position themselves against him. markedly only very late, and a very short campaign is shaping up to be auspicious for him. He leaves no room for maneuver to others.

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