Those who follow Ms. Merkel closely say that she is weary of grappling with Europe’s troubles, and that her close circle, always small, is more defensive and withdrawn after last year’s migrant crisis, which has weakened her politically. Still, she is under pressure to run for a fourth four-year term, a decision expected by early December.
“She’s the last one standing, and that makes her both strong and weak at the same time,” said Stefan Kornelius, one of her biographers and a political analyst for the daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. “She’s a pillar of stability, the last wall, and people want to lean against it.”
That revolution, they said, has overthrown what they called the “elites” — the mainstream news media and establishment politicians — who are in a tacit alliance.
The enthusiasm of the far right was in striking contrast to the coolness of Europe’s mainstream leaders to the week’s news. Some of them, like Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, offered veiled criticism even as they sent Mr. Trump pro forma letters of congratulation.
“It’s the emergence of a new world,” Ms. Le Pen said, after being the first to lay a wreath at the monument here to France’s World War I dead. “It’s the end of the 20th century.”