“This year, we are going to do it quietly, because each year, I impose a somewhat fiery rhythm.” Laurent Wauquiez has long been described as a young wolf in a hurry. The soon to be fifty-year-old is now playing another part, that of long time. On his Auvergne lands, during his traditional ascent of Mont Mézenc this Sunday, the former mayor of Puy-en-Velay therefore warned that everyone could follow the pace of his stride, between the pines and the heather, until this volcanic peak on the border of Ardèche and Haute-Loire.
The step, as always for the ten years that Wauquiez has been climbing this rocky escarpment, is nevertheless intended to be sustained. The former deputy made this mountain his rock of Solutré. A place intended to be a symbol of local anchoring and synonymous with reflection. “Le Mézenc embodies this loyalty to our valueslaunched the president of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in front of a few hundred activists, his close guard of regional elected officials and Charlotte, his wife. I like the fact that it’s a place to take a step back.”
After having pondered for a long time, Wauquiez announced in July that he would not run for the presidency of the Republicans, after the departure of Christian Jacob. A congress must be held in December to appoint his successor. “He made the choice not to return to the same path as in 2017recently advanced one of his relatives. But that in no way means giving up on your goals. His presidential commitment was a possibility, it becomes a necessity.
For his political comeback, Wauquiez therefore designed this “possibility”. The one who was for a long time the bad boy of the right is now preparing for national deadlines. In his sight, “the big meeting of 2027”. Investing in a “essential mission”that of “Preparing now for the post-Macron period”the regional elected official called for “take height”. “It is an immense task to which I will devote myself entirely.”
To gossips who would accuse him of phosphorating alone in his corner, the former minister of Nicolas Sarkozy assures that he has no “not intend to [s]’lock in an ivory tower’ but good of “to question ourselves”, of “reconnect the thread of trust that has been lost” or even of “travel the deep country”. Either the rhetoric of any pretender to the Elysée.
And who better than Georges Pompidou, the native of Montboudif, in neighboring Cantal, to sell this postcard of the terroir and rootedness? Of the former President of the Republic, Wauquiez praised the “poet”the “visionary […] capable of sitting in a bistro in Cantal, with modesty, to listen to what the Cantalous had to say to him».
For Wauquiez, the road to the Elysée will not go through rue de Vaugirard – the seat of the Republicans. Elected to lead the party in 2017 after the rout of François Fillon, Wauquiez hoped to make his mandate a launching pad for the last presidential election, before being forced to resign after the defeat of the right in the European elections in 2019. “The right must recognize the mistakes of the past”, said Wauquiez today, targeting his political family, without however specifying whether this inventory should relate to Nicolas Sarkozy’s five-year term or Valérie Pécresse’s presidential rout. Whatever. Among the militants, the man seduces. “He is right not to be a candidate to lead the partyagrees Eric and Noëlle, a retired couple from Isère. For him, it is urgent to wait.
Give time to time, said François Mitterrand. Ambitious, the one who climbed the mythical Col du Ventoux by bike at the beginning of August now sees further. “What it is about is less saving a party than saving France”, he said already in July. Sunday, the normalien replayed the score of the burst against the “decadence”. Clovis, Henri IV, the Occupation and Jean Moulin are summoned to support the statement. “Everything is deteriorating. Our country that we love so much is falling apart.thus judged Wauquiez, before rolling out his classics, “immigration out of control”the “tyranny of scum”them “crazy charges and excessive taxes”the values of “work” and of “deserved”. On these mountainous lands, the right-handed speech of the former boss of LR takes. “The RN is less strong hereassures Eric, the retiree from Isère. That’s because Wauquiez is not too soft.
That’s an understatement. At the foot of the Mézenc, the enarque delivered a violent charge against the “technocrats, judges and active minorities who have taken over the country”. By addressing the case of Imam Iquioussen, whose expulsion wanted by Gérald Darmanin was challenged in early August by the administrative justice, Wauquiez won loud applause. “This judge [administratif] has more power than the Frenchhe said, after talking about “submission”taking up the title of a novel by Michel Houellebecq. This is what needs to change.”
There remains, for those who were once hated in their own camp, the challenge of gathering. Because if his right-wing line agreed today with the militant base, it has not always pleased the executives. “The 2022 Wauquiez is a Wauquiez that has improved over time, like a good winewants to believe the deputy of the Loire Dino Cinieri, present at Mont Mézenc. For LR, he is the right candidate. He is above the lot.” A faithful quoted above is more measured. “He destabilized his supporters a bit…” In Auvergne, this Sunday, Wauquiez climbed his mountain in the company of Eric Ciotti, candidate for the presidency of the party. In the crowd, the deputy of the Alpes-Maritimes was able to measure his popularity, chaining the taps on the shoulder and the selfies. Another young wolf sniffing the LR presidency, Othman Nasrou, was there, he, in «ami». From Wauquiez, the vice-president of the Ile-de-France region salutes the «vision» and “fair analysts on many things”. Gaps ? Failure ? The straight line of Wauquiez? Nasrou, like others at LR, are careful not to answer. And meet in December.