Tuesday was a historic day for France and the world. In 1995, LaRouche co-thinker Jacques Cheminade exposed during his presidential campaign the principles underlying why and how speculation, as a "financial cancer" would plunge the world into a deadly crisis. Then, he was viciously slandered, silenced, and ruined.
But yesterday as a 40-second video clip on Europe 1 reports: "Marine Le Pen has a good reason to be unhappy today — Cheminade just announced that he has gathered the required 500 signed commitments [from elected officials] needed to acquire ballot status: Jacques is back!"
Presidential candidate Jacques Cheminade's announcement, made during a 10-minute prime time morning interview with the very respected and uncompromising journalist Jean-Jacques Bourdin on Radio Monte Carlo (RMC), which has an audience of 800,000, came as a bombshell.
Cheminade concluded the interview saying, in paraphrase: The late French president François Mitterrand "promised to fight the financial world; it never happened. [Then-President] Jacques Chirac, at the Halifax [G7] summit denounced speculation as 'financial AIDS' but did nothing. Sarkozy in his Toulon speech also claimed he would fight speculation and never did. Now, [Socialist candidate] François Hollande says he wants to take on finance, but calls for the separation of 'banking activities' only, while in reality what is required is a strict separation of banks themselves and a new Pecora Commission."
Immediately, the fact that a "minor" candidate succeeded, where "major" candidates are failing, became the hottest news in town. First Reuters and then Agence France Presse (AFP) ran wires that were picked up by at least five dozen websites, including such major dailies as Le Figaro, Le Parisien; La Croix, France Soir, 20 minutes (citypaper); weeklies such as L'Express, Le Point, Le Nouvel Observateur; national TV channels TF1 (first channel), LCP (Parliamentary TV channel); TV5, TV6; radio stations Europe1, France Info (all news); regional dailies, Le Progrès (Lyon), La Montagne (Auvergne), and other websites, such as Terrafemina.
Overwhelmingly the most coverage was rather straight with one exception: the French branch of the Washington Post-connected Internet magazine Slate.fr, founded by Jean-Marie Colombani (former boss of Le Monde) and financial globalist Jacques Attali! The buzz was so loud that between 8 am and 3 pm, Cheminade was one of the ten most used words on Twitter.
The well-planned Cheminade media offensive was accompanied with a global outreach effort all over France. In Paris, 25 organizing squads reached the financial districts in La Défense and Issy les Moulineaux, the Foreign Ministry at Invalides, and the major train stations of Montparnasse and Saint-Lazare. In the Paris region, over 25,000 copies of a special leaflet titled, "Who Is Afraid of Cheminade?" have already gone out, out of 250,000 in distribution nationally. Another 25,000 were distributed in at least the cities of Rouen, Nantes, Rennes, Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Toulon, Nice, Macon, Montélimar, Lille, Metz, Nancy, Poitiers, Chaumont, Mulhouse, Strasbourg, Marseille, Saint-Etienne, Clermont-Ferrand, and Grenoble.
Then, at 3 pm. Cheminade held a press conference to present his campaign platform, a beautiful 362-page book, titled A World Without the City and Wall Street: A Great Construction Site for Tomorrow, freshly printed by l'Harmattan, a well-respected publisher, quite famous for publishing African authors. Several journalists and mainly camera crews came to the press conference: ITV, Le Parisien, France2, TF1, Canal Plus, 20 minutes, and Dimanche Plus.
Then, at 7:10 pm, Cheminade was on a major national broadcast on Canal Plus, "Le Grand Journal." There, journalists confronted Cheminade with former minister Christine Boutin, who has had trouble getting the required 500 signatures. Journalist Jean-Michel Apathie was completely flabbergasted to have Cheminade there with a huge stack of signatures next to him, and Apathie repeated his line that "minor candidates" should not run. He said Cheminade's candidacy was "useless." But then, the others there were all wondering, how is it possible that Cheminade succeeded gathering signatures where Boutin is failing?
Cheminade responded that when he ran in 1995, he had forecast then the gravity of the crisis and that mayors, as was the rest of the country, were looking for new leaders responding to the silent anger inside the nation. Also, he said, he had a dynamic youth movement which is determined and has real ideas. For example, we're fighting in favor of nuclear power, the reactors of tomorrow such as sodium-cooled fast breeders or molten salt reactors using thorium, i.e., fourth-generation nuclear power of the future.
Accused of being extreme left and right, Cheminade simply said he was a "left Gaullist" or, what used to be known in France as the "old left" that had the guts to defend scientific progress as the foundation for social justice.
At 8:20 pm the first channel TF1 ran some seconds of the press conference, with the presenter saying some candidates have the signatures while others claim they have them. Cheminade, when asked why he has the signatures, whispers with a low voice and a big smile: "Because I'm intelligent."