Indeed, Ms. Le Pen, in her first speech as party leader, immediately made overtures to both right and left. She called for economic and social “patriotism,” saying that France is not “a caliphate,” or Islamic state, and describing the trends of globalization that particularly concern the French left as “a cultural tsunami and a moral Chernobyl.”
She also spoke to core National Front views that France’s destiny as a great nation is being diluted and damaged by foreigners and by the European project of integration: "Our country is at risk of dismemberment. ... The values of our civilization, our traditions, our way of life, and our customs are being contested in many quarters – in schools, in the public sphere, and in entire neighborhoods.”
The National Front has failed to gain much ground in elections, but its presence in the political arena has likely been a factor in President Nicolas Sarkozy’s shift to the right. In recent local elections, the party claimed about 15 percent of the vote.