Jordan Bardella, 28, is the new face of the far right in France. Measured, clean-cut and raised in the hardscrabble northern suburbs of Paris, he laces his speeches with references to Victor Hugo and believes that "no country succeeds by denying or being ashamed of itself.”

That phrase, at a recent rally in the eastern town of Montbéliard, brought a chorus of "Jordan! Jordan!” from a crowd that had lined up for hours to see him. Cries of "Patrie” — homeland — filled the hall. Bardellamania is in the air.

Bardella, the son of Italian immigrants and a college dropout who joined the National Front party (now National Rally) at 16, is the protege of Marine Le Pen, the perennial hard-right French presidential candidate. Moderate in tone if not content, he is also the personification of the normalization — or banalization — of a party once seen as a quasi-fascist threat to the Republic.