“I’m going to put the body in the campaign”was the message from Axel Kicillof that a group of mayors from the first section took away in the last days of the meeting they held with the governor in La Plata. Teresa García, the Buenos Aires Minister of Government with an electoral base in San Isidro and a good knowledge of the suburbs, was also listening, which she carries between Kicillof and the communal chiefs.
Without a definite candidate, despite the desire of Victoria Tolosa Paz, driven by Enrique “Pepe” Albistur –Malena galmarini She has already warned that she has no intention of being a candidate, just like Santiago Cafiero-, the ruling party intends to imitate in this sense the Buenos Aires strategy of Cambiemos in 2017, which allowed the PRO to defeat neither more nor less than Cristina Kirchner: with the ballot, in that case of senators, headed by Esteban Bullrich, the campaign was entirely taken over by María Eugenia Vidal. Paradoxically, the leader who now escapes to the Province to, perhaps, try his luck in the City.
In that scenario, Kicillof’s role will be almost as crucial as Cristina Kirchner’s, which last Monday offered, at the La Plata ceremony, a preview of the place it will intend to occupy in the race towards September and November. Omnipresent, the vice president decides in her own way.
Governor Axel Kicillof with the Minister of Health, Daniel Gollán, at the inauguration of the Diagnostic Unit in Escobar.
In campaign mode, the attention of the Government is concentrated in particular in Greater Buenos Aires, the main obsession of the former President, the region in which the largest flow of the hard vote of Kirchner converges.
With this roadmap, the Frente de Todos in its Buenos Aires version seeks to adjust internal tensions to avoid falling into the stark bid that seized the opposition during the last month for the leadership of the PRO between Mauricio Macri and Horacio Rodríguez Larreta.
In the ruling party they know that, beyond the applicants, they need to correct two variables to achieve a mid-term victory: the vaccination campaign and the economy. On the first they trust that it will be directed with the arrival of vaccines. The second is a huge unknown.
With this objective in mind, for several Mondays the governor has received in his office the main partners and managers of the government coalition: Máximo Kirchner, Sergio Massa, Eduardo “Wado” de Pedro, Cafiero -on behalf of Alberto Fernández-, Gabriel Katopodis and Jorge Ferraresi. On rare occasions, some mayors joined in, such as Martín Insaurralde, obsessed with La Cámpora, and Fernando Espinoza.
In last week’s meeting with Kicillof and García, the mayors of the first section asked for a place at that table, with the excuse of electoral weight: they argued that in 2019 they contributed half a million votes to the Fernández-Kirchner-Kicillof trio. “It is going to be ordered, everything is on track“They trusted from the office of one of the communal chiefs.
President Alberto Fernández with Cristina Kirchner, Sergio Massa, Axel Kicillof, Jorge Ferraresi, Verónica Magario and Mario Secco. They bet everything on the Province.
As this newspaper published, the campaign mode that completely runs through the governing coalition forced the President to try to get a good part of his cabinet out of slumber, which, with very few exceptions, showed notable passivity during the pandemic.
Fernández also instructed his chief of staff to put on the campaign chief’s outfit, and gave the go-ahead for Katopodis and De Pedro to take charge of territorial policy.
Along these lines, the Government also seeks to order the official communication. The presidential mistake of a week and a half ago in the company of the Spaniard Pedro Sánchez in the bicentennial museum ended up setting off all the alarms in the Frente de Todos.
The misstep flew over the last meeting of the Monday table that meets weekly at the Kirchner Cultural Center (CCK) and that brings together the main heads of communication of the coalition. Hernán Reibel, Rodrigo “Rodra” Rodríguez, Santiago “Patucho” Álvarez, Santiago Carreras Y Rafael Graves for Cristinismo and La Cámpora; Juan Pablo Biondi, Marcelo Martin, Francisco Meritello Y Javier Porta by Casa Rosada; Santiago Garcia Vazquez representing Massa and Jesica Rey by Kicillof.
An area that was formed back in March to adjust details of the official account although, for now, it did not have the desired effect in the case of the President. They want him to have it for the campaign. There were even stretches of tension after the bid for the direction of the economy crystallized in the affair between Martín Guzmán and the undersecretary Federico Basualdo.
In the bosom of the ruling party they know, anyway, that communication is aligned as long as politics is ordered.