When it comes to world leaders, image is everything. It’s not enough to craft solid policies or usher in a stable economy. Good leaders must also be the very image of grace, intelligence, and poise.
Unfortunately, French president Emmanuel Macron never got that memo. He has managed to embarrass himself time and time again. And worse still, he’s managed to do it when the cameras are rolling!
Just how embarrassing did things get? Here are the cringiest Macron moments ever caught on camera.
Macron is something of a copycat (more on this later). So when he interacts with a crazy world leader like Donald Trump, Macron’s own mania goes into high gear.
A perfect example of this was when Trump was touring France while Bastille Day was being celebrated. Trump is known for aggressive handshakes, so Macron tried to meet force with force. This resulted in an insane “handshake” that lasted nearly 25 seconds, and Melania’s face shows how absurd the whole affair is.
Underwater action star
Macron is at his best (or should that be worst?) when he tries to stage photos, though. For example, this image shows the time he visited the nuclear submarine “Le Terrible.” Rather than getting there by more conventional means, Macron staged a photo op where he dramatically drops onto the submarine via helicopter.
Ultimately, it’s tough to take a world leader very seriously when he’s using taxpayer dollars to make himself look like James Bond! And as you can imagine, the internet had a field day making fun of Macron, which did nothing at all for his image or overall brand.
Face, meet egg
When it comes to political protests, some people don’t want to reinvent the wheel. So when Macron visited an international food trade fair in Lyon, someone decided to lob an egg right at his face!
While getting egg on your face is always embarrassing (heck, “egg on the face” is a phrase we use to mean “embarrassed”), this could have been a lot worse for Macron. For one thing, the egg didn’t break on impact, and it simply bounced off his face and shoulder. For another thing, security personnel managed to apprehend the man who lobbed the egg at the French president.
Macron goes “Maverick”
When Macron decided to visit Air Base 125 in Istres, he could have worn any of his nice designer suits. But he decided to do something different: to dress in a flight suit instead!
This immediately drew comparisons to Tom Cruise’s character “Maverick” from Top Gun. Since Macron is an 80’s kid himself, we understand the impulse to dress up as the iconic character. But maybe the world stage isn’t the right place to engage in nostalgic cosplay?
The other obvious comparison was George W. Bush. The former U.S. president was in a full flight suit when he landed aboard an aircraft carrier to make his notorious “Mission Accomplished” statement about fighting in Iraq. However, Bush was, at least, an actual pilot. By comparison, Macron comes across as more of an actual poser.
Copying Barack Obama (repeatedly)
Remember when we said that Macron is something of a copycat? Looking back, there was nobody that he liked to copy quite as much as former US president Barack Obama.
For example, Obama was often photographed playing basketball, and many saw him as a very athletic president. Macron, in turn, made sure he was photographed playing soccer in the suburbs and even competing in wheelchair tennis.
Macron also seemingly modeled his official photograph after Obama’s. In both photos, we see smiling men in suits, posing in front of a window with flags on either side.
Speaking of photos, Obama did a photo stunt back in 2015 showing him on the telephone. These photos were supposed to capture Obama calling voters up on Mother’s Day. Soon after getting elected, Macron made sure to get photographed personally answering the phone at the Elysée presidential palace’s switchboard.
It’s tough to beat the insanity of Macron’s handshaking incident with Donald Trump. But in terms of pure embarrassment, nothing beats the time that Trump told the entire world that Macron had dandruff!
In 2018, Macron was visiting the White House to meet with Donald Trump. And Trump wasted no time bloviating to the cameras about his fruitful relationship with Macron. As CNN reports, Trump told the gathered members of the press that “They’re all saying what a great relationship we have, and they’re actually correct.” Continuing, he said. “We do have a very special relationship. In fact, I’ll get that little piece of dandruff off – we have to make him perfect. He is perfect.”
As you might imagine, telling the entire world that a fellow president has dandruff was both bizarre and unprecedented, and it made Macron look like a clown on the world stage. And Trump’s “we have to make him perfect” comment is just salt in the wound, pointing out that Macron is far from perfect as is.