This column is in response to a column in the FT at https://www.ft.com/content/464df34e-3a48-11e7-ac89-b01cc67cfeec
This doesn’t do justice to either Blair or Macron at all.
Blair is defined by his support for Bush during the Iraq war, which tars his entire legacy. But by the numbers, he may well have been one of the best PMs. There’s actually a very good thread on this on Quora: https://www.quora.com/Was-Tony-Blair-a-good-Prime-Minister specifically the answer https://www.quora.com/Was-Tony-Blair-a-good-Prime-Minister/answers/885299 stands out.
Blair didn’t pick a war with Iraq, the Bush presidency did. Blair chose loyalty with Britain’s most important ally. How would he have been remembered had he not? Maybe as the PM who helped the Americans fail.Or who betrayed or abandoned Britain’s most vital alliance. But to say that he charmed his own country into war does not do justice to the complexity of the choice he faced.
Macron is loyal to his wife, they’ve been married for a decade and the relationship is far older. He also is very loyal to the ideas of the Republic and to the European Union. Where he is similar to Blair is that he has a grittish idealism and a vision that is stronger and that remains strong despite being heavily tested in actual administration.
Isn’t that what we want in our leaders, vision, loyalty and grit? There is no vision nor loyalty in the Trumps, Le Pens and Beppe Grillos of this world. Good politicians are good actors. The ability to mask your uncertainty is a vital one, otherwise people simply aren’t going to vote for you. Churchill spent years becoming a good orator, he worked very hard to become the PM we now remember. The same goes for Obama who perfected his oratory and learned from Kennedy and King. Macron is no different in that he must be a good actor in order to be a good President.