A hunchback, and a Jew who converts because he doesn’t want people to hate him for his religion, are walking by a synagogue.  The Jew points to the synagogue and says “I used to be a Jew”.  The hunchback points to his back and says “I used to be a hunchback”.

The point of this dark joke is that you are what you are.   Which leads us to Marine Le Pen suddenly, after a lifetime of being entirely immersed in it, has (supposedly) left the National Front.

Her reason?

“I have always considered that the president is the president of all the French.

“Tonight, I am no longer the president of the Front National. I am the presidential candidate.  “I will be above partisan considerations,”

This, two weeks before the runoff election, is supposed to convince French voters that she is not part and parcel of the Front National (FN).

That’s going to be a tough one, since her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen – the far rightist and holocaust mnimizer (not quite denier) –  founded FN and ran it until five years ago.  And until now, daughter Marine was just fine being within it.

Did she leave when Daddy Le Pen made comments such as:

“If you take a book of a thousand pages on the Second World War, in which 50 million people died, the concentration camps occupy two pages and the gas chambers ten or 15 lines, and that’s what one calls a detail.”

“There must be an authority, and we believe that the most qualified authority in a household is the man’s”

Nope.  She did not.  Ms. Le Pen may claim that she disagrees with her father, but she stayed.  Year after year.  Until this week.

But now that she has a chance, however, slim, of overhauling Emmanuel Macron (not Jewish, despite that first name) and becoming President of France?  Bye-bye FN.  I’m not with you anymore (wink, wink).

I have a hard time believing many French voters will consider Ms. Le Pen’s sudden departure from FN as sincere.

In any event, we’ll see how all this plays out after the runoff election, which will be held on May 7.

I have a feeling it will be a long night for Marine Le Pen.

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