Presidential election in France: the great dream of Madame Hidalgo


Status: 23.10.2021 12:56 p.m.

Anne Hidalgo has been the mayor of Paris since 2014. Now she wants to go higher – up to the very top of France’s political leadership. But the 62-year-old is currently not expecting any great chances.

By Linda Schildbach, ARD-Studio Paris

“C’est parti, allons-y!” – “Let’s go”, Anne Hidalgo calls out to her comrades from the Socialist Party in France with moderate euphoria and announces on September 12th: “I want to run as a candidate for the presidential elections.”

The location the 62-year-old chooses for this declaration of intent already speaks volumes: Hidalgo – shoulder-length dark hair, light gray blazer – stands in front of a large window front with a view of the Seine. But not in Paris, but Rouen in Normandy.

From mayor to head of state?

Hidalgo needs a change of image: away from the mayor of Paris to a candidate for all of France to become France’s first female president.

Is that a dream Yes, that our country is doing better, that’s my dream. That I help shape it? Sure, of course. My life allows me to achieve things that I want. My actions are in line with my duties and what I do every day.

Child of a Spanish working-class family

Hidalgo recently published a book about her life: “Une femme française” (“A French woman”). She is an immigrant child.

I was born in Spain and grew up in modest circumstances, as the daughter of an electrician and a seamstress. I was lucky enough to be able to study. If I hadn’t gone through a secular, mixed school with values ​​of the republic, I would hardly speak to you today as Mayor of Paris.

Her parents flee from Franco. She is two years old then. She grew up in a working-class district of Lyon. Is best in class. Loves painting – in large format.

Hidalgo studies social sciences, becomes a labor inspector, advises ministers and the mayor of Paris. Until she is the first woman in this office and is re-elected last year. The mother of three has schools renovated, promotes women and the LGBTQ movement. She is pushing ahead with vaccination in the Corona crisis.

On the other side of the balance sheet, rents and crime are growing. It is replacing historical kiosks with new ones and the accusation is growing that Paris is dirty.

“I come in humility”

She toured the country this summer, as did President Emmanuel Macron. The Paris bubble clings to it. Hidalgo says in Brittany: “If I were arrogant, as they say the Parisians are, it won’t work. I come here in humility and look for solutions.”

And she should find it quickly. Because Hidalgo’s election campaign is off to a bad start. Only 72 percent of party members voted for her as a candidate for the presidential election next year – in the absence of better alternatives, some socialists whisper. In the polls, too, it recently slipped from nine to just 5.5 percent. Your suggestions do not ignite: whether a climate-friendly speed limit on the autobahn – from 130 to 110 kilometers per hour – or a reduction in the CO2 tax.

For their idea of ​​doubling the teacher’s salary, there was malice even from the left corner. “Rock’n’Roll Hidalgo,” commented Jean-Luc Mélenchon, head of the left-wing party “La France Insoumise”, about the proposal. Even the leader of the Socialist Party, Olivier Faure, has no illusions: “We all know here that the election campaign will be difficult. Nobody wishes us victory.”

Hidalgo tries not to let all of that get in touch with him. She calmly points out that she declared the polls as the loser in the local elections in March – inappropriately.

Madame la Présidente? Paris mayor wants to lead France

Linda Schildbach, ARD Paris, 23.10.2021 · 11:11

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