Jean Pichai, who is running for office in Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques in next spring’s local elections, has left French voters bemused with the 1 min 40 second ad, uploaded to his Youtube account earlier this month (see below).
It all starts promisingly enough, with a dramatic intro soundtracked by a classic Jean-Michel Jarre tune.
However, the video - shared by satirical political blog MunicipLOL 2014 - cuts suddenly to a grey-haired Pichai, sitting in a suit in what looks like the study of his home.
He stares directly into the camera, while a female voice (behind the camera), makes some generic and very formal electoral campaign statements.
“Mr. Jean Pichai is a politician. He is the founder, creator and president of a French political party, the UPR – Union for the Republic,” she intones.
The man himself, however, does his best impression of a mime throughout – except for a couple of nervous glances around the room.
At one point, Pichai tantalizingly clears his throat, only to settle back into his silence.
While the UPR President – who is running against 2012 centrist presidential candidate François Bayrou – may not have the obvious rhetorical flair of some of his fellow politicians, he does appear to have the edge on them in terms of openness.
At the end of the video, Pichai’s personal email address and mobile number are shown on screen, and viewers are invited to contact him “in order to set up a meeting in the future.”
Despite the low production values and bizarre spectacle of the video, Pichai appears to have struck a chord with some viewers.
One of the nearly 5,000 people to have watched the clip on Youtube declared: “If I was in Pau, I’d vote for this man. Pichai for president!”
Another pointed out that a wordless politician has the advantage, at least, of not seducing the electorate with lies.
“It is more eloquent to say nothing, than all the others who leave us dizzy with their twaddle…Pichai for President!! He can’t be any worse than the joker running the country at the moment.”
See for yourself – would you vote for this man?