French Lessons: What Emmanuel Macron Tells Us About Winning When People Don’t Like You

French President Emmanuel Macron’s decisive victory over right-wing nationalist Marine Le Pen this week put White House chief of staff Ron Klain in an upbeat frame of mind.

“An interesting observation, just FYI,” President Joe Biden’s top aide alerted his Twitter followers. Klain noted that Macron won by a double-digit margin even as his public approval rating was an abysmal 36 percent, before adding a portent-filled, “Hmmm….”

Hmmm, indeed. Klain’s likely thought bubble isn’t hard to guess: No need to wet the bed, Democrats, over Biden’s political travails and their implications for 2022 and 2024. Perhaps one person thirsting for these drops of reassurance was Klain himself.

His analysis, however, is the kind of reassurance that is only soothing to people who already have come to terms with the knowledge that they are in a dire situation. Let’s not lose hope: These experimental drugs seem to be potentially effective in certain types of patients. We’ll need you to sign a waiver.

The most striking element of Klain’s tweet was how it underlined something that happened so gradually people could easily not notice: the reversal of a central pillar of Biden’s strategy.

At the start of his presidency, Biden’s

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