US press: pick of the papers

The ten must-read opinion pieces from today's US papers.

1. This War Is Not Over Yet (New York Times)

President Obama can't have it both ways: if the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are ending, the detention of enemy prisoners without charges must end, too, argues Mary L. Dudziak.

2. The super PAC arms race (Oregonian)

The Obama campaign's move goes beyond unilateral disarmament. It amounts to dangerous proliferation in the nuclear arms race of campaign spending, writes Ruth Marcus.

3. New global deal on climate change (Politico)

The U.S. is now a member of a bold new initiative that brings hope for national action, says John D. Podesta and Andrew Light.

4. Presidential history lesson: Talk less, promise less (USA Today)

Someday, maybe a president will simply promise to run the government well, defend the country from its enemies, let us sort out our problems more on our own, and leave the miracle-working to God, writes Steven Hayward.

5. A 'cosmic wager' on the Muslim Brotherhood (Washington Post)

The Obama administration has made what might be described as a "cosmic wager" on the Muslim Brotherhood's peaceful intentions, writes David Ignatius.

6. On budget, 10 is not enough (Politico)

We need to start using a 25-year window if we want to be fiscally honest, writes Michael A. Peterson.

7. If Iran already has the bomb, what then? (Washington Times)

The White House and Congress should immediately cooperate on programs to achieve regime change in Iran - by supporting and arming the majority of the Iranian people who want to overthrow the mullahs, says Peter Pry.

8. Egypt's cold shoulder (Los Angeles Times)

A sudden new wave of anti-Americanism is thriving in Cairo, says David Schenker.

9. Mitt Romney's Thirst (New York Times)

Romney's attempt to portray himself as "severely conservative" just isn't cutting it, says Charles M. Blow.

10. Acting Out on ACTA (Wall Street Journal)

Internet populism threatens another antipiracy campaign, argues this editorial.

Photo: Getty
Show Hide image

What does François Bayrou's endorsement of Emmanuel Macron mean for the French presidential race?

The support of the perennial candidate for President will boost Macron's morale but won't transform his electoral standing. 

François Bayrou, the leader of the centrist Democratic Movement and a candidate for the French presidency in 2007 and 2012, has endorsed Emmanuel Macron’s bid for the presidency.

What does it mean for the presidential race?  Under the rules of the French electoral system, if no candidate secures more than half the vote in the first round, the top two go through to a run-off.

Since 2013, Marine Le Pen has consistently led in the first round before going down to defeat in the second, regardless of the identity of her opponents, according to the polls.

However, national crises – such as terror attacks or the recent riots following the brutal arrest of a 22-year-old black man, who was sodomised with a police baton – do result in a boost for Le Pen’s standing, as does the ongoing “Penelopegate” scandal about the finances of the centre-right candidate, François Fillon.

Macron performs the most strongly of any candidate in the second round but struggles to make it into the top two in the first. Having eked out a clear lead in second place ahead of Fillon in the wake of Penelopegate, Macron’s lead has fallen back in recent polls after he said that France’s rule in Algeria was a “crime against humanity”.

Although polls show that the lion’s share of Bayrou’s supporters flow to Macron without his presence in the race, with the rest going to Fillon and Le Pen, Macron’s standing has remained unchanged regardless of whether or not Bayrou is in the race or not. So as far as the electoral battlefield is concerned, Bayrou’s decision is not a gamechanger.

But the institutional support of the Democratic Movement will add to the ability of Macron’s new party, En Marche, to get its voters to the polls on election day, though the Democratic Movement has never won a vast number of deputies or regional elections. It will further add to the good news for Macron following a successful visit to London this week, and, his supporters will hope, will transform the mood music around his campaign.

But hopes that a similar pact between Benoît Hamon, the Socialist Party candidate, and Jean-Luc Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the Left Front’s candidate, look increasingly slim, after Mélenchon said that joining up with the Socialists would be like “hanging himself to a hearse”. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.