“I would rather be first in this village than second in Rome “. At the side of her bedside lamp, a young high school student looks at the motto hanging on the wall. It is a gift to his mother after his failure of integration in the supply chain the degree of bachelor of science. It’s not called Caesar, but Jean-François Copé. Regardless of its academic level, as his comrades would hear it all day long : later, he will want to be the first, later, he wants to be president. As a kid, already, Jean-François Copé is position in front of his television, captivated by the retransmissions of the political discourse.

10 years ago, the duel between Giscard and Mitterrand, the ” fascinate “. This sensitivity, the feel for the piano. Her electric organ would have been able to replace the keyboard of its meetings. “These are the two things which have created in me a small light. I’ve always loved the world of artists, the show, ” we he said, like a phrase repeated many time.

others prefer slumming with fists rather than with words. Like this time, in 1976, where Sarkozy quarrel with the strikers at a rally in front of the faculty of Nanterre. Causing, it mounts on the platform to express themselves : “To strike, this is for the pretentious ! “The fight broke out, Sarkozy comes to the hands. Contacted by The World, his friend Jean-Marie Chaussonière, attorney-at Cergy-Pontoise and now, this day, justifies it in his own way : “It was to prevent him from talking about it ! After a few minutes, they tore off his microphone. “

Fillon expelled from school

And when some are struggling, others bite in soft the car of their parents. Frowning, the eyes black, the young Fillon rolled the sneakers in the evening in the villages of the Sarthe. At the wheel of the Citroen 2 CV of his father, he improvises a race car driver. Christine Kelly, journalist, author of the book, Fillon : the secret and the ambition, refers to these scenes ; and that it confirms to the media to counter its image of austere. In the spring of 1971, the daily lives of high school students is suddenly disrupted at Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix in le Mans : a band of young wave of posters, banners. We hear a scream without restraint. “Resignation ! Resignation ! Resignation ! “The young Fillon, the head of the procession, the departure of an English teacher as it deems incompetent. He is expelled from school.

The silly things of youth, all did not. When, at age 14, Fillon made the wall to assist in the demonstrations of may ‘ 68 in france, Alain Juppé flees the event. While he studied at Paris in the latin quarter, the epicenter of the opposition movement, he remains behind. At 22, he is already in an adult life and asks his wife to leave Paris with their son. “Alain Juppé is more small, this is not a stirrer of crowds,” says Camille Vicuna, the Coat, the author of his biography I will be president !

Discreet, Bruno Le Maire, the was also. Wise, hard-working, it flourishes in literary studies, in spite of the disapproval of his father. His father requires of him the best. This rigor, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet knows them well. As early as 19 years old, she joined the ecole polytechnique, like her father before her. The student is especially noted for “his seriousness and his attendance for his classes,” says Soazig Quéméner in NKM, the president. Shipped on The Var, the admiral’s ship, during her military service, she is standing up to his commanding officer to keep his hair long, just regulatory.

NKM way Che Guevara

But Jean-Marc Callois, a former fellow graduate of the, has in mind an evening disguised, where the student, ” quite sharply to the right “, came dressed in a kind of ” guerrilla south-american “, way Che Guevara. “Despite his side”bourge” that glues to the skin, it could be quite quirky ! “. Patrick Vauterin, former adviser when she was a minister, who was also known to polytechnic, could not imagine that it imposes on its initial in the media : “at the time, I wouldn’t bet a kopek on it in politics “. A step, and then another in the policy : the commitment is sometimes a detail, a good encounter or a sad new. But the candidates have also been able to pull the strings, lengthen the arm to reach the top of the sphere to satisfy an ambition. If they are not all gone by the ENA, the family relationships, academic networks, and were able to catch them in volume

As for Fillon, for which the decision is not obvious. The son of a notary and a historian, he took advantage of their network. Joël le Theule, a friend of his parents and member of parliament for the Sarthe, was first convinced him to be his parliamentary assistant. “A mid-time, I took it as a student job,” says Fillon, Christine Kelly. Contacted by The World, Jean-Marie Tissot, former mayor of Solesmes and a friend of the mother of Francis, remembers : “He did not want to engage in politics, he wanted to be a journalist “. When Joël Le Theule dies suddenly of a heart attack, the question of successor arose. “François Fillon was hesitant but it was he who knew the best records of The Theule. We finally convinced him, with his mother, to stand “. On June 14, 1981, at 27 years of age, François Fillon takes the succession of Joël Le Theule, and he was elected deputy for the 4th constituency of Sarthe in the first round.

Jacques Chirac, too, has been a central character. In search of an ” associate knowing how to write “, it is Alain Juppé presented to him. At the time, with the excitement of May ’68, some ‘normaliens’ were in the right values. Not for Alain Juppé : a gaullist of the first hour, he was there at the right time. Early thirties, this is his first step in politics. Nicolas Sarkozy also knew how to take advantage of the former president of the Republic. It has the force of posters, speeches and activism, the young man remarked. Funny, it seduces. His youth, he made it an asset. He went to the national conference of the UDR, in Nice, france, in 1976.

Catherine Nay, in A power named desire, details a scene where Jacques Chirac, one of his future opponents, invited him to make his speech : “It is you, Sarkozy ? You have two minutes “. The long-haired youth finds himself in the spotlight. The applause is not long in sounding. Alain Juppé had wanted to become Pope. Copé was a conqueror. NKM intended for excellence. Bruno Le Maire wished to write great words. Fillon was the leader of the shadow. Sarkozy sought the spotlight. The gaullists believe that ” all doctrines, all schools, all revolts, have a time “.

Lisa Burek, Jules Le Pallec, Juliette Fèvre, Léa Ménard, Mary Dewilde

This article has been produced within the framework of the World Academy, during the week of training on political journalism organized from 5 to 10 September. You can find all the articles here.

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