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Life's Rich Pageant

This Emmanuel Macron Guy Is A Real Piece Of Work

12:20 PM EST on December 19, 2022

Emmanuel Macron and Kylian Mbappe
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

I've always thought that there are few feelings in this world worse than losing a championship game. To put in all that hard work, and come so far, only to see the dream slip through your fingers right at the end? What could be worse than that? Well, thanks to French president Emmanuel Macron, I now have an answer to that question. What's worse than losing a title game is then having to deal with some dipshit trying to make a photo op out of your misery.

There was seemingly nothing out of the ordinary when Macron showed up at Lusail Stadium on Sunday to watch the French national team try to become back-to-back World Cup champions. Yes, it's annoying when a head of state shows up to a big sporting event and gets free air time, but having to watch one of those goofballs stand around and clap for 30 combined seconds of broadcast time is just one of the things you learn to deal with when watching such sporting events. But Macron did much more than clap his hands in a luxury box; he inserted himself into as much of the postgame proceedings as possible, and in doing so became history's most annoying guy.

Macron's presence at the game started to feel a little overbearing as soon as the game ended, when he made a speedy trip down to the field and insisted on making a big show out of consoling the heartbroken French players. Of course he made a beeline for Kylian Mbappé, France's most famous player, and all the cameras that happened to be around him.

And he didn't stop there! For whatever reason, Macron was allowed to stand in the trophy procession line, which means he got to help hand out awards and medals to players from both teams and once again take advantage of the opportunity to get his grubby little mitts around as many of them as possible. By the time Mbappé crossed the stage to receive his consolation medal, his second time down the receiving line after also going up there to get the Golden Boot award, he seemed pretty damn sick and tired of Macron clutching at him. He had to put up with this no fewer than three times over the span of 30 or so minutes:

And still Macron wasn't satisfied! After being in everyone's face from the moment the whistle sounded until the World Cup trophy was presented, Macron followed the French players into the locker room and made them sit there and listen to his attempt at a motivational speech:

This is all well in line with Macron's current political strategy, which seems to be built on traveling around the world and shaking hands with people on camera. If he thinks the key to reversing his falling approval rating is a series of well-timed photo ops, then he might want to rethink that strategy after yesterday's display. Because if there's one thing that's sure to endear a vacant, centrist politician to the voting public, it's a bunch of pictures of him clinging to the country's most beloved athlete like a kooky uncle trying to plant a smooch on his terrified nephew.

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