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For the boss of the Republicans Christian Jacob, the hardest part remains to be done

Strategic advice as a birthday cake. It is in a studious way that Christian Jacob, the president of the Republicans, will celebrate his first year at the head of the party this Tuesday. For the occasion, the boss will still offer himself some visuals on social networks to rejoice in the victories of LR in the last municipal elections as well as to have undertaken a “substantive work” on the ideas. The elected representative of Seine-et-Marne can especially congratulate himself on being at the head of a party that still exists. Because, when he was elected president on October 13, 2019, his training, traumatized by its historic defeat to the Europeans and abandoned four months earlier by Valérie Pécresse, is on the verge of exploding.

Chosen as “lowest common denominator”, Christian Jacob has managed for a year to maintain a precarious balance. “He puts people in relationships, shows roundness”, recognizes a strategist of the party. True blue helmet of the right, the Sarko-Chiraquien has succeeded in clearing some explosive situations in municipal elections, as in Paris where he helped to impose the candidacy of Rachida Dati, and in Nice where Eric Ciotti did not present himself as a dissident facing the outgoing mayor Christian Estrosi. “Finally, there, it is more the Ifop than Jacob the justice of the peace! », Laughs an adviser, referring to the polls – bad for the deputy Ciotti – carried out before the first round.

With Baroin’s package, Jacob’s plan collapses

Presented as a “moment of truth between Macronism and Lepenism on one side and us on the other”, the municipal elections were for Christian Jacob the opportunity to finally return to victories, despite some big disappointments, as in Marseille or in Bordeaux, lost on the right. The recent senatorials made it possible to transform the test. What to give a little hope for the departmental and regional of March. Christian Jacob has even resumed language in recent weeks with Valérie Pécresse and Xavier Bertrand who had ostensibly turned their backs on LR then chaired by Laurent Wauquiez.

In short, everything would go (almost) well to one – slight – detail: the presidential election. Because even if he never explicitly formulated it in public, Christian Jacob especially wanted to make his party a launching pad for François Baroin. “He said he was neutral to get elected as the head of the party. However, he was not, ”observes, bitter, an elected official. The mayor of Troyes stepping aside, the whole building collapses. “Honestly, Jacob came only to put the party at Baroin’s service. So hey, his assessment is quickly made … “, pinches someone close to Laurent Wauquiez.

While Jacob had explicitly promised the killing of the primary, still registered today in the statutes of the party, he is now forced to work hand in hand in the coming weeks with Gérard Larcher on the development of a “Tie-breaker system” of the one who will wear the colors of the right in 2022. The president of LR fully expected to postpone any early discussion on the subject until March, the time to see a “natural candidate” emerge. But the President of the Senate twisted his arm last Thursday, during a parliamentary seminar.

“The poor man, he will have to manage the total explosion of ego”

“It is not stupid to know where you are going before choosing the captain of the boat”, explains Christian Jacob, who prefers to concentrate on programmatic software. Three thematic national conventions (work-wages, environment, state authority) are planned before a “Congress of ideas” scheduled for November 5.

“Conventions are to amuse the gallery. This is to say to Bruno Retailleau (Editor’s note: the boss of LR senators who wants to run for president) that we do not have time to organize the primary ”, slips an LR framework. “We make yogurt without knowing the label of the pot. But the presidential candidate also gives flavor to yogurt! », Observes the deputy Julien Aubert who campaigns for an acceleration of the calendar.

“The poor man, he will have to manage the total explosion of egos … He certainly succeeded in causing a ceasefire when he arrived but the weapons are resuming, observes a strategist from the right. His challenge now is whether he will go down in history as the first party president not to present a presidential candidate. “

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