The socialist candidate organised his biggest meeting today in Paris and delivered a strong performance.
20 000, that is, according to his campaign team, the number of people who attended Benoit Hamon’s biggest meeting in Paris on Sunday. Outside the normal explanation of the main guidelines that entails his programme, the Socialist candidate has adopted a very offensive and determined tone to show he is ready to be the next president of France.
Benoit Hamon, fourth in the polls and criticised for “not realising he is in a campaign” a month ago has, according to many commentators, raised himself on Sunday by showing a strong performance. He stepped up from his usual image of a ‘cool’ and ‘kind’ politician to show he can enter the ring, such as he showed just before entering the meeting by warming up like a boxer.
This can be the sentence that will be remembered all along Hamon’s campaign. The socialist candidate openly associated his opponents with money, declaring that they would only be “the CEO of France” while he wants to be “The President of the French Republic, with the exclusive task to serve the French citizens”. This strong attack towards his opponents has been the top line of all French news outlets moments after the meeting.
All media outlets found in Hamon’s meeting today strong similarities with Hollande’s famous one in January 2012 when he declared, “my enemy doesn’t have faces, it is not a party and will never be candidate but is already governing. My opponent today is the world of finance.”
One dominant idea: Progress
As François Hollande pointed out in Libération recently, people “always expect more from a socialist” as a socialist candidate is expected to bring messages of progress and a better social justice. An assessment that was perfectly relevant during Hamon’s meeting and his desire to look forward on social issues.
“I want to say to the little girl or the lady watching me. I can’t wait for you to be here, at my exact place right now. But please just forgive me to postpone of five years the day France would have its first female president. I will be a feminist president.”
This strong quote provoked a big range of applause among the people attending the meeting. He affirmed he is entirely dedicated to make everything possible to stop the different “oppressions and inequalities” that women are suffering at the moment.
Hamon also kept on his promise to bring more refugees in France. He praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her courage to speak with a “golden voice and said what needed to be said about refugees on behalf of European project”.
“Fate triumphs when you believe in it”
After an hour and a half of meeting, it was time to conclude for Benoit Hamon. He arrives to the end of his speech by quoting one of the most famous French philosophers, Simone de Beauvoir, who said “fate triumphs when you believe in it”.
The tone remains as offensive as he declares:
“Go and see the angry French, wherever they are. Convince them, about us; reconcile the French with the ‘left’ and the Republic. Let’s go together until the win”.
After the big meetings of the four other names in this race, Hamon has now shown he is also able to have these big meetings and attract thousands of people to produce a big show. Next step now is the first television debate between the five major candidates (Fillon, Macron, Le Pen, Mélenchon, Hamon) this Monday.