For several months, I've been following France's election cycle and observing the various candidates and their platforms. For Le Pen and the National Front, I would offer this advice after the weekend defeat:
1. Go ahead and rename the National Front (now being discussed). Unhook it from Le Pen's father and make it a year 2020-type vehicle.
2. Instead of a short platform aimed mostly at immigration and safety......broaden the appeal across different sectors. It may shock some people but gays and young voters were attracted in different ways to the National Front. This ought to be maximized for the 2021 election.
3. Bring in some big wiz PhD guy who can talk economics and get a plain simple program to energize businesses, maximize sales, and bring more jobs to the little guy in France. Talk about these factors in a way that the regular French guy can understand them. Talk about capitalism in the practical sense. Those who want to practice communism need to view themselves living under bridges and wearing flip-flops.
4. Be blunt on immigration and asylum.....it ought to be referred to as a 'smart-program' where you don't bring in burger-flippers or drug-sales people. It's a door with a 'knob' and you need to open it when a guy presents a good case for himself.
5. Be proactive on cops and security. Every time that a big terror act occurs....ask if there was something to have prevented it, and put pressure on the government to react.
6. Be blunt on the EU, and challenge them to be pro-business and pro-commerce. Talk about stupid regulations so that the little guy on the street understands the problem.
7. Look beyond Le Pen. It can't be a party of just one person or be referred to as the "Le Pen Party".
8. This whole marriage issue and gays needs to be resolved and put into some simple prospective. Before the Catholic Church arrived from Rome.....unions were the norm.
If you look toward 2021, Macron's scorecard will be much like Hollande. The public will be looking for a different image and different strategy for the future.