The eldest of the three Le Pen daughters is running in the 6th constituency of Hauts-de-Seine. Little known, long at odds with the family following the megrétist schism, she is today an activist in the shadow of the National Rally. Legislation brings it to light. Portrait.
“I could have been a Zadist but I chose another path”. Marie-Caroline Le Pen defends herself, at the end of the line, of a life on automatic pilot, of a course all traced out and of a trajectory à la papa. She insists: nothing was asked of her by her father, “it would not have enchanted him but I could have been on the left, we were raised in freedom, without intellectual rigidity. No obligation therefore to follow the family ideology, “We knew we were right, that’s all! And that what we were accused of was unfair.” The eldest of the three daughters of Jean-Marie Le Pen and Pierrette Lalanne underlines it, even repeats it: she built herself, went to find everything alone, and above all knows what it is,“the fight”.
She thought a half-hour interview would be long. It will eventually last double. Marie-Caroline Le Pen is talkative, explains that she never fought to be in the light, “never”that his sister Marine will have “a great destiny”not her, “so there.” Two trajectories.
But his candidacy this month in the sixth district of Hauts-de-Seine necessarily earns him some articles and cameras, a renewed light why not, “I am recognized here, this is my third candidacy for the legislative elections”. The first two go up. It was about thirty years ago, in 1993 and 1995, she presented herself unsuccessfully against Nicolas Sarkozy.
Little known to the public, in the shadow for years of her youngest Marine, “Caro” as she is nicknamed, disappeared from the political radar for a long time after her temporary rallying to Bruno Mégret in 1998. The estrangement was monumental in the family. “I never had a career plan you know.” It justifies itself, we don’t know, in any case it refutes this “urban legend” who wishes she was raised to succeed her father. So she goes there and cuts the sentences, takes her story in hand, “far from the fantasies of journalists.”
She therefore tells her truth: her unprotected childhood, harassed at school, “not simple the name Le Pen”, and death seen up close in the attack “at home”then the Montretout mansion in Saint-Cloud, his lightning appearance at the Figaro under the name of Duick, “wink at Tabarly”or his sister Yann, “a GO time at Club Med”. We talk about her, she talks about the party. We talk about the past, she talks about today. She holds the helm of the interview, we admit it, but we decide to leave it to her. To see, to listen.
Everything goes there, or almost: his niece Marion, La Trinité-sur-mer, “its home port”, Jordan Bardella who “Nope” is not his “stepson”, “they are not married”, and this macronist of Constance Le Grip in the circo, we talk about it, “When she was LR before, what’s going through her head?” We don’t change, they are political mercenaries” these people. Gay marriage, she made the demonstration for all yes, but hey…“now there is more serious”, if not the Stade de France, what a scandal…“Where are we going?”
On the defensive anyway. “We did what we wanted, I tell you”. She comes back to this Le Pen lineage which she could have freed herself from without difficulty if it had been her “choice”. “We have merit for having followed this path you know, nothing was given to us ready-made in the mouth. Quite the opposite of a dynasty”.
Her constituency is unfavorable to her, Marie-Caroline Le Pen knows it, she will “surely lose”. “But the purpose of an election is not necessarily to be elected”, she says. And then “politics keeps you young”, she jokes. Her laugh is the same as her sister’s. Frank, strong. His tone of voice is also recognizable although more subdued.
She had been offered a territory more conducive to victory for these legislative elections, but she refused. We then read him a piece of an article from a colleague who wonders “Is Marie-Caroline Le Pen afraid of being elected?”. Good question. “The joke”she cuts away, “Marie-Caroline is not afraid of anything!”.
“Catholic, nationalist and modern”according to him, he is asked what it means “modern” exactly. “Modern is the RN”, she replies, laconic. We don’t restart it. After a silence, she eventually expands on her own. “A party whose president is 26 years old and which has a woman at its head…” So, we insist, we ask him again: “modern”, what does it mean for she. Marie-Caroline Le Pen dithers on her answer, is reluctant to formulate it, turns her tongue in her mouth. “I am of my time and I never look back“.
She comes to this “glass ceiling” we’re talking about for her sister, she doesn’t understand that. “Why are the left and the LRs doing this, a ‘dam’, what’s the thing?” We help him a little and we slip him: “racism”, “facism”. She shouts, answers us “political manoeuvres!”. Racism, no, she did “never Heard no one blocking that.” “It’s an invention, a completely lame argument. ‘Fascist’, ‘racist’, CM2 stuff. How are we racist? We no longer speak of ‘national preference’ but of ‘national priority’, it is more subtle”. Subtle, yes.
Marie-Caroline Le Pen speaks of the good faith to have in political analysis, and of her own faith which still drives her. No, there are necessarily other reasons for these “dams”. “Or, they don’t want us in power, full stop”. She is fed up. Forced laugh. She continues, reviews everything that is wrong. Darmanin renewed, Zemmour who divides, and Pap Ndiaye, this “racialist wokism, shall we stop there?”. The left, the LRs, everyone passes by there. “What’s going on there?”she punctuates between each target.
But Marie-Caroline Le Pen takes pleasure in doing this campaign, we must not believe, regardless of the result, it perks up. And then, given the findings not folichons and “the pitiful arguments in front”she tells us before hanging up, it’s lunch time, we have to go: “We’ll get there eventually, you know”.
In the 6th district of Hauts-de-Seine, present themselves:
- RECONQUEST : Frank Keller
- NATIONAL GATHERING : Marie-Caroline Le Pen
- THE REPUBLICANS : Patrick Pessis
- MISCELLANEOUS RIGHT: Benoît AGUELON
- TOGETHER : Constance Le Grip (outgoing MP)
- DISSIDENT OF THE RPUBLIC ON! : Fayza Basini
- MISCELLANEOUS CENTER: Frank Tapiro
- MISCELLANEOUS CENTER: Adama Traoré
- UNION OF DEFRENCH MUSLIM MOCRATESVSAIS: Bilele Khadour
- VARIOUS ECOLOGISTS: Denis Marie Marchiset
- NEW POPULAR UNION EECOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL: Julie Barbaux
- OPEN FIGHTERE: Françoise MARCEL