Francois Hollande

Emmanuel Macron wanted to rule like Jupiter, but governing France has brought him quickly down to earth

Emmanuel Macron wanted to rule like Jupiter, but governing France has brought him quickly down to earth

There was something undeniably appealing about the handsome young investment banker who spoke loftily of transforming France’s rigid old order — and reminded some fans of a gap-toothed John F. Kennedy.

“He was seductive,” Martine Barbier, a 50-year-old social worker, said of Emmanuel Macron, who earned her vote in France’s May presidential election even though she feared he was untested and, in a country long ruled by dour establishment figures, too nakedly ambitious.

Four months later, Barbier joined thousands demonstrating against Macron at the Place de la Bastille in Paris, assailing the new president’s labor reforms as elitist and pro-business, far from the inclusive...

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