[The] sense of victimhood [some of Europe’s alienated ultranationalists may feel is getting] reflected in the plight of Trump at the moment. [...] This election was not a full rejection of Trumpism [...it sent a message that] nationalist populist movements have strength.
There is a need for France to be that moralizing voice, even if Macron is sometimes screaming into the void. If you don’t have a France that annoys the U.S. on Iraq, that disagrees on Iran, that pushed for the Paris climate accords, no one else will do it.
For the first time, [the European Parliament elections] will be fought on European issues, not on national issues. [French President Emmanuel Macron and Italy's governing populists] represent two pure versions of what's going to be offered. [Europe is] now entering a phase where the political fight is in Brussels. It is now a place where you have parties and platforms, and the direction might shift very much if a new party wins.
[The "yellow vest" protesters are] working people and lower-middle-class people mostly because you have seen a wage stagnation in most of these European countries and unemployment across the board. It becomes a question of social justice and dignity.
The French might have been presumptuous, or a bit too clever, in seeing Trump only as an opportunity. It comes with a cost. The cost being the division of Europe... [Trump's] clear favoritism [for nationalist-led countries like Poland, Hungary, and Italy can exacerbate divisions within Europe]... Macron wants to be a strong leader that Trump disagrees with but respects for being strong.
[President Trump's counterparts fear that Americans] do not feel they need to lead the world anymore... The United States is still the dominant power out there – the Atlantic alliance is still alive. But [Trump's] foreign policy weakened some of the elements.
No damage is ever irrevocable when it comes to global standing, but it could take years to repair. [Under Trump, the United States is becoming an] unreliable and untrustworthy actor... Allies and partners will now refuse to trust America blindly. Trump’s damage to US standing will be depend on how long he stays in power, and on how other nations rebalance and diversify away from the US.
What [Macron] was looking for was showcasing his proximity to Trump, but at the same time, that he’s still capable of voicing differences, including in a public way… He did step in the direction of Donald Trump by repackaging his ideas under the label of a new [Iran] deal… On Syria, Macron seems to believe he was able to convince Donald Trump that a framework for stability needs to be developed, whether or not Trump decides to pull out troops… We should pay attention to what’s going on with Merkel now, to see whether Trump extends a minimum of respect and welcome to the German chancellor… [The relationship] brings prestige to both [Macron and Trump]. Trump needed to have a strong European ally that would give him respect… Vice versa, it looks good for Macron that he’s the one seen as being close to Trump.
The Democrats see Macron as someone who can talk Trump into maybe changing his mind on some of the most global issues. And the Republicans see France as a valuable military ally who brings respect for their embattled American president.