Politician tricks to stay alert – POLITICO

Welcome to Declassified, a weekly humor column.

Long nights, lots of stress and constant travel – being a politician in the run-up to an election is a bit like being in a rock band (when those rock bands have to dress smartly, talk about energy costs and run the risk of an occasionally angry voter lashing out at them hitting an egg on the head).

No wonder they get tired. Marine Le Pen, for example, attributed her failure to beat Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the 2017 presidential election in part to being exhausted after a grueling campaign (that and her politics, of course). This time she says it is her feel better Thanks to Vitamin C and caffeine pills. She’s basically the political version of a student who’s pumped up on Pro Plus and Red Bull while studying for a big exam – and will soon be in need of a laydown and a cuddle from a parent as a result. Although in Le Pen’s case, dad isn’t exactly the cuddle type.

Macron, meanwhile, is also feeling refreshed because aside from a massive rally (and posing for these photos in a hoodie for the full “I’m like Volodymyr Zelenskyy, but without the war” effect).

The only other person with a chance of making it into the second round of the French election, leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon, lightened the load by using a hologram version of himself to appear at multiple campaign events simultaneously, a high-tech ploy which he also used in 2017. It’s a technique used primarily for performances by dead pop stars, including Michael Jackson moonwalking at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards and Tupac Shakur performing at the 2012 Coachella music festival.

Unfortunately, Mélenchon has only spoken about his political platform and has not performed a duet with Whitney Houston, whose hologram tours the world. What a massive missed opportunity for me to draw a Venn diagram showing people wanting to lower the retirement age and freeze the price of fuel on the one hand and those enjoying it on the other, a karaoke version of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” (Who loves me)” on the other side.

Politicians all have their own ways of dealing with potentially stressful situations. Former British Prime Minister David Cameron used the ‘full bladder’ technique to achieve maximum concentration during tense late-night EU summits. Cameron revealed after one such summit in 2011 that he intentionally remained “desperate for a pee” throughout the formal dinner and subsequent horse trade.

That technique backfired terribly in 2016, when he was so desperate for a pee that he blurted out, ‘Yeah well, let’s have a referendum on EU membership. Where is the toilet now?”



“What position do I play? Right wing.”

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Paul Dalison is POLITICS‘s slot news editor. Politician tricks to stay alert - POLITICO

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