French author and columnist Éric Zemmour today put an end to a months-long wait that held public opinion and the French media in suspense. At exactly noon, live on his YouTube channel, in front of nearly 50,000 spectators, he officially announced his candidacy for the spring 2022 presidential election.
The announcement is not really a bombshell, however. In the last few weeks, there had been signs that he would enter the race. Although his decision to run had been assumed, timing is everything, and Zemmour chose an opportune moment to reveal his intentions: just four days before another decisive deadline for the French Right. The congress of the party Les Républicains, to be held on Saturday, is expected to nominate the official candidate for the main right-wing government party.
In his video, Zemmour deliberately created a classic aesthetic. He synthesized archive photos, classical music, and famous historic sites to depict a beloved-but-disappearing France. This appeal to fading national glory—contrasted with visuals of a country in decline, on its way to decadence, showing street violence and destruction, against a backdrop of LGBT ideology and veiled women—energized his message.
Even the posture Zemmour chose—reading a speech into a microphone without looking directly at the audience—was reminiscent of the speeches of General de Gaulle, for whom the content of the speech was more important than projecting an optical message of personal connection.
The French Right is therefore entering the presidential election with three candidates who will compete for the place of challenger to Emmanuel Macron: Marine Le Pen, Éric Zemmour, and the Les Républicains candidate, who will be nominated on Saturday.