Trump Hopes Paris Attack Boosts Le Pen, One Day After Obama Calls Macron

In the immediate aftermath of the attack in Paris on Thursday night, claimed by the Islamic State, several French commentators suggested that the presidential election could be swayed by the fatal shooting of a police officer on the Champs-Élysées.

That’s largely because opinion polls suggest that the electorate was still divided almost evenly between four leading candidates ahead of Sunday’s first round vote, with the potential for increased fear of terrorism boosting the far-right candidates, Marine Le Pen and Francois Fillon.

Among those apparently rooting for French voters to be terrorized into voting for the ultra-nationalist Le Pen is Donald Trump, who continues to see the presidency as a vehicle for his amateur political punditry.

Trump’s barely concealed endorsement of Le Pen — who wants to deport or prosecute more than 10,000 people on a terrorism watchlist and take France out of the European Union — comes one day after his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, tried to boost the chances of the centrist, pro-European candidate, Emmanuel Macron, with a friendly phone call trumpeted by Macron’s campaign.

Despite the hopes of Trump, and his strategist Steve Bannon, who previously championed Le Pen through rapturous Breitbart News coverage, it remains unclear if the majority of French voters who want anyone but Le Pen to win will be swayed by the shooting.

The morning after the attack, some commentators suggested that voters might agree with a comment by Macron initially described as a gaffe — that the threat of terrorism will be with the French people for many years — and now see such attacks as demanding increased security but not the revolutionary change Le Pen promises to deliver if elected.

In other words, it appears possible that the attack could prove pundits on both sides of the Atlantic wrong, with the race returning to its original dynamic, and Macron remaining narrowly favored to win.

The post Trump Hopes Paris Attack Boosts Le Pen, One Day After Obama Calls Macron appeared first on The Intercept.

from The Intercept bit.ly/2p3hvDH

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