Edouard Philippe, featured in Blois, eclipses his predecessors

Edouard Philippe, featured in Blois, eclipses his predecessors

The former Prime Minister and mayor of Le Havre was on Friday morning at the Rendezvous of History in Blois, which this year has as its theme “Governing”. Jean-Marc Ayrault and Bernard Cazeneuve were also there, but it was the one who left Matignon at the beginning of July who captured the attention.

© Emilie Cabot/ Paris Match

They were three former Prime Ministers Friday at the Rendez-vous de l’Histoire in Blois. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Bernard Cazeneuve, who came for round tables, and Edouard Philippe, for a major interview, within the framework of this festival whose theme this year is: “Governing”.

And it was the mayor of Le Havre who folded the match, welcomed as if he was still in charge at Matignon. Edouard Philippe came to talk about his “historical imagination” during a major interview in the Hemicycle of the Halle aux grains. Before that, he visited the History Book Fair. An hour of wandering that he hoped would be more discreet. “Thank you very much, now I’m going to buy books, I’m going to do my shopping,” he said as he entered, hoping to sow the seeds of the press, who had come in large numbers to follow him down the aisles.

He politely ignores questions from journalists on the lookout for a short sentence about his future ambitions. But he takes the time to interact with the people he meets during the stands. Booksellers talk to him about their activity during the confinement and the relationship of people to the bookstore which has evolved during this period. On a table, he sees a stack of one of his books, “Des hommes qui read”: “That’s very good,” he jokes. The title of another book, “Que faire des cons?”, Makes him smile. “You have to look at all the books,” he still scans.

If he could not spend the time he wanted and have more privacy to leaf through the works presented, the former tenant of Matignon was able to measure his popularity. The other officials present went almost unnoticed. Besides Jean-Marc Ayrault and Bernard Cazeneuve – with whom he spoke briefly – three other members of the government, Marc Fesneau, Geneviève Darrieussecq and Nadia Hai were also present.

Attention was focused on Edouard Philippe. Some teens recognize him, put a name and function on his face, and want a photo. He accepts. No selfie, but he happily poses in the middle of the small group. The scene is repeated a few times. “I’m hot”, loose a young girl, delighted with this moment and to have had a photo.

For two ladies who have waited long minutes at the end of the visit, he takes the time to stop, to dedicate “The hour of truth” to them, written with Gilles Boyer, and to joke with them. “You have a minister’s handwriting”, slips one of the two friends. She lets the government know that she wants to see him again.

At the neighboring cinema, the shadow of Edouard Philippe hovers. The episodes of Laurent Cibien’s film “Edouard mon pote de droit” are shown there on Thursday and Friday. The festival and the local press even announced the presence of the former Prime Minister at a session, that of episode 2, Friday morning. “Is this where the Prime Minister comes from?” I come from far away, ”asks an old man before settling in the room. At the entrance, a lady tangles her brushes in the titles “Ah yes, it’s” My buddy “the title, it’s not the presidents. It is not yet ”.

Edouard Philippe ultimately did not attend this session. In addition to visiting the book fair, he came to talk about his “historical imagination”, during a half-hour interview, masked, in front of an audience also masked. There too, no “postcard” or references to current events. Briefly, he talks about his daily life during the health crisis. “In this intense period, I tried every day to spare myself 20 minutes, half an hour, to read a little, to ask myself (…) It was at this moment that I started to watch the story British revolutions (…) It all starts with a political dispute and ends with a beheading … It brightened up my daily life ”.

Edouard Philippe evokes his "historical imagination" © Emilie Cabot / Paris Match

© Provided by Paris Match
Edouard Philippe evokes his “historical imagination” © Emilie Cabot / Paris Match


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