At just 39, Macron is France’s youngest leader ever — breaking a 169-year record held by the famed French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, who took power at age 40. Thousands of people poured in the streets of Paris after polls closed on Sunday night, honking horns and celebrating.
Back in the States, Sophia Bush penned a tweet in French accompanying a photo of the winning politician, while Alyssa Milano used stronger words, tweeting, “F— you, @wikileaks. #VivelaFrance.” (Macron was hacked earlier this week but WikiLeaks did not initially release the hacked documents.)
A snap poll following a face-to-face debate on Wednesday night called it 63-37 for Macron over his opponent, controversial far-right leader Marine Le Pen. And in his final interview as candidate, on Friday for the investigative French website Mediapart, Macron admitted he faced some steep obstacles ahead.
“Politics is not a game that you win every time,” he said. For now, at least, Macron has won the biggest contest of all, and American star support is pouring in.
Macron had also been endorsed by former U.S. President Barack Obama.
The brief 1:10 video posted on Macron’s Twitter begins with Obama expressing his gratitude for the friendship of the French people and explaining: “I’m not planning on getting involved in many elections now that I don’t have to run for office again … but the French election is very important both to France and the values that we care so much about. Because the success of France matters to the entire world.”
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The former president’s support of Macron’s “outsider” campaign — which many American political analysts see as somewhat of a proxy matchup between Obama and Donald Trump — was evident in the run-up to France’s first election in April. Several of Macron’s key aides have Washington experience. And in the days just before the first round balloting, Obama and Macron spoke by telephone, which the Macron camp publicized at the time.