Democracy-lovers are breathing a sigh of relief about the results of France's presidential election, in which we now know that Emmanuel Macron has comfortably defeated fascist right-wing Putin ally, Marine Le Pen.
Jim Acosta noted sardonically, "It should be noted Le Pen conceded minutes after the results were announced. Imagine that." Talking to CNN international correspondent Christiane Amanpour, Acosta said, "We didn't hear Le Pen or her supporters talk about filing lawsuits to challenge the results or overturning the election or complaining about imaginary fraud like we have over here in the United States. It's a nice reminder of what democracy is supposed to look like, and I guess the French did provide us a bit of a lesson in that."
Amanpour agreed, and went on to explain exactly why it would have been such a "political earthquake" had Le Pen won the presidency.
Funny you should put it that way, Jim, that is true. I will say, though, As a concession speech, it was lacking. She obviously accepted she had lost, but she was not very gracious and kept going on about what she was going to do to beat Macron every opportunity and you know, she's now lost three elections and she shows no sign of going away. The actual rather significant thing amongst analysts is that the far right won 42% just about of the vote here. The significant, even more significant is that Macron did win with a good and healthy margin. 58.8. Nearly 59%. So that's for that.
Now, you know for the Americans, for the Europeans, his win is a huge, important moment because otherwise, it would have put into doubt all the alliance that France has with the United States and the Europe, particularly at this time when the allies are trying to face down Putin and when as you said, Le Pen has historically been close to Putin and as Macron said, dependent on him. He called Putin her banker because she's taken a loan that she still has to repay, and she has also taken a loan from the self-described illiberal democracy in Hungary. All of this points out why her election would have been a political earthquake and why many leaders both in the United States and certainly around Europe, where messages have been pouring out ever since the vote was, the polls closed, congratulating Macron.
Acosta pointed out that it seems, "today the biggest loser is Vladimir Putin."
Amanpour agreed completely, and said Putin had lent her money because no French bank would, because of how far-right her platform was. She quoted a European adviser to the French government, who said, "In France today, Putin was defeated."
Everyone should be happy about that.