President Macron wants us to think he’s as clued-up about Covid as his scientists, says Serge Raffy in L’Obs. He thinks of himself as “Dr Macron”. It’s unsurprising, given his medical family: his father is a neurologist, his mother a doctor, his sister a nephrologist and his brother a radiologist. “Little Manu”, the rebellious prodigy, boldly snubbed the white coat for banking and politics – but his staff say he devours medical journals with “astonishing frenzy”. It’s almost as if he has something to prove.
Forget Russiagate, now it’s all about Gaetz-gate
Matt Gaetz, a 38-year-old Republican congressman “with good looks, better hair and a sharp tongue”, was known for delivering Donald Trump’s warm-up speeches and wearing a gas mask during a Covid debate in Congress, says the BBC’s Anthony Zurcher. Now he’s fighting for his political life after a string of scandalous accusations, including an alleged underage relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Gaetz strongly denies the allegations. Appropriately, the scandal has been labelled “Gaetz-gate”.
It’s grim up north for Starmer
“No politician can be anything other than themselves,” says Daniel Finkelstein in The Times. They look phoney, dull or calculating otherwise: Jeremy Corbyn pretending to be a Remainer was a disaster. Keir Starmer, a southern liberal lawyer, “desperately wants to be the voice of the red wall seats”. But voters can tell he isn’t – in focus groups they say “he only jumps off the fence to climb on to a passing bandwagon”.
It’s the same with his party. Labour isn’t a socialist party that represents the working class any more. It’s a “radical liberal party” with younger, metropolitan, educated supporters, 59% of whom want to rejoin the EU. “Its True North isn’t the north of England.” Starmer is a perfectly plausible leader of such a party, even if its base is too narrow to win an election. “But that is what it is.”
Trump will always be the best man
Ever the entrepreneur, Donald Trump has diversified into wedding speeches. Two weekends ago, when a couple were tying the knot at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump went on an extended riff about Joe Biden’s performance as president. “The border’s not good, the border’s the worst anybody’s ever seen it,” he said, before eventually acknowledging the “great and beautiful couple”. Now his website, 45office.com, includes a form where he and Melania can be booked for birthdays, weddings and the “Girl Scout gold award”.