Just because they’re so awesome, have some photos of Jacques Chirac. A lot of these have been doing the rounds online for a while, largely courtesy of the FYJC blog, but it’s interesting to have them buzzfeedised for our convenience.
1. The picture of him jumping the metro barrier is ridiculously popular. It’s a reflection of the brilliance with which he ran things – like an old-school mafia boss. He was the authorities, but he retained an air of anti-authority chutzpah til the end. People felt as though he was one of us, even when he was more or less openly manipulating the political system in favour of “them”. The same thing can be said of any picture of him smoking.
2. Ditto for the women. This is old-school political leadership – Sukarno-style.
3. There’s been a substantial Chirac revival lately. I think it’s symptomatic of something, but I’m not sure what. Sure, there’s a craving for actual leadership in there in these fly-blown Hollande-ridden days, but it’s also a style thing. Angela Merkel, for example, wouldn’t have been given a chance to prove herself in France because the electorate demands these flashy demonstrations of being large and in charge from the start.
4. Why Chirac? Why not Mitterrand (who was another mafia-style boss)? I guess because this is happening to a large extent online, and the millennials are just about old enough to remember Chirac but don’t really have the personal connection to Mitterrand.