Horacio Rodríguez Larreta he does not usually watch political programs on television. And, as he confessed to his intimates this week, he made no exception on Monday night with Mauricio Macri’s interview in TN. Of course, it didn’t take long for him to learn what the former president had said. The Buenos Aires head of government tried not to be annoyed and when a collaborator asked him what he thought of Macri’s words, he limited himself to answering that he had sounded “moderate”. Another of the main city officials was more sincere and did not hesitate to qualify Macri’s reappearance as “Unnecessary”.
Rodríguez Larreta did not call Macri the day after the interview. Neither to congratulate him nor to reproach him. Macri also did not call him to ask how he had seen him. As the former president recognized During the Interview with InfobaeThey had not spoken on the phone or exchanged messages until Thursday afternoon at least. Their faces were scheduled to meet on Tuesday morning at the virtual meeting held every week by members of the national leadership of Together for Change. But The day after the flag and the reappearance of Macri, Rodríguez Larreta did not connect to the zoom. The official explanation was that the head of the Government had complicated the agenda. The truth – and curious – is that after months of working tirelessly in the administration of the pandemic and maintaining its routine of political thread full time, Rodríguez Larreta chose that Tuesday following the holiday to take a “free” day.
Macri is not used to watching political television programs either. He’s not hungry for the news. He didn’t even look very concerned about the repercussions his first statements had had after a long time. Sometimes he even seems somewhat misinformed. The former president began to intensify political meetings alongside his raid of interviews. He spends more and more time in the small studio of the two-story house he rents in Acassuso. The location is strategic: as it is right next to the entrance, visitors do not get to pass through the house. Juliana Awada and Antonia can continue their family life like this without fear of being disturbed by intruders.
Beyond what they say on either side, Macri’s exit to the ring deepened the divisions that have maintained since the beginning of the quarantine the hard and moderate sectors of Juntos por el Cambio.
The management of the pandemic – and the relationship with the Casa Rosada – is one of the issues that generates the most differences. While Macri believes – and declares – that the quarantine “did a lot of damage”, the sectors closest to Rodríguez Larreta are convinced that it was necessary. It was no coincidence that the day after the reappearance of the former president, the Buenos Aires Minister of Health, Fernán Quirós, maintained that “The early quarantine prevented a health catastrophe”. The problem is that this speech is too similar to that of the Government. Alberto Fernández was only a little more frontal when he assured: “Macri, the quarantine helped Argentina to put itself in order after the disaster you left”.
The question that today divides the main opposition force is simple: what led Macri to raise his profile now and what is he looking for with his statements. “They’ve driven me crazy all year wondering why I wasn’t talking. Now when I speak is why I speak. I do it because I felt the situation warranted it”, Replied the former president when asked by this medium. Macri comes out to speak now because he understands that it is time to take advantage of the growing discontent with the management of Alberto Fernández.
The former officials who remain faithful to his side explain it in other words: “Mauricio comes out to capitalize on the banner and take advantage of the gift that the Government gave him by pointing out that it was a mobilization of Together for Change. I wish we had the ability to move all those people ”. There is no room for chance: Macri’s first interview with a national media after leaving the presidency was broadcast on Monday night, a few hours after the last massive protest against the government.
Those same sources close to the former president also maintain that Macri seeks to show that he did not retire from politics nor does he intend to do so. “(Emilio) Monzó is not going to retire him,” they provoked. The former president did not like that, in an interview with Infobae, Monzó affirmed: “Cristina and Macri have to be a finished stage, they must both step aside”. Macri was sorry for having delegated the political negotiation of his administration to filoperonist leaders such as Monzó himself or the former Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio. What appeared to be self-criticism was more of an attack.
“Mauricio already said that he does not see himself as a candidate in 2021, but it is clear that if in 2023 he feels competitive he will play. That does not mean that he is going to do something that endangers the unity of the opposition. And if he has to support Horacio, he will do it as he already did in the City ”, confided a key man in the 2015 presidential campaign who remains in permanent contact with his former boss.
Close to Rodríguez Larreta they are not so sure that Macri has dropped a candidacy for next year. Much less that he has shelved his intention to fight again for the Presidency. “It is clear that he seeks to show that he is not retiring from politics and that he is willing to defend his place, but we do not understand what is the need to go out and talk now“One of the officials closest to the head of government told this media. And he added:” The only thing we have to achieve to get to the next presidential election with a chance is not to divide ourselves. And the risk is that if Mauricio goes to play hard, the opposition fragments and we end up doing the government a favor. ” That is Rodríguez Larreta’s obsession. He made that clear Friday morning by speaking at the IDEA Colloquium. “Today the unity in the opposition is out of the question”, He said.
Another of the leaders who already works in the political army to prop up the presidential candidacy of Rodríguez Larreta considers that the reappearance of Macri served the Government well to distract attention from the economic problems, with a free dollar without a roof and a fall in the Central Bank reserves that does not stop. And he graphed: “Mauricio today is the emoji of the little man who raises his hand. He’s saying ‘here I am.’
The praise for the president of the UCR, Alfredo Cornejo, did not go down well with Rodríguez Larreta. They understand that it is the way that Macri chose to make it clear to the head of the Buenos Aires government that –beyond dreaming of being president since the age of 5, as he ironized during the interview with Infobae– There may be other candidates for Together for Change in 2023. The Mendoza himself was struck by the fact that Macri had highlighted his consolidation. “It was a bit surprising because we had a lot of tensions, but loyal ones. There were questions about the political strategy and influence of Durán Barba in his government, but the truth is that we had a fairly loyal relationship in the matter of telling us things, “said Cornejo. And, just in case, he stressed: “Macri makes it clear that he will not be a candidate in 2021. And I believe him”.
It is true that Macri maintained that he does not see himself as the protagonist of next year’s elections and that he asked all the leaders of his space not to talk about candidacies until April. Although the transitive property does not apply to politics, it could be inferred that Even if I had already decided to be a candidate in 2021, I would not say so now but within the deadline that he himself is trying to set for the rest of the figures of Together for Change. And 2023? His statements did nothing but leave open the possibility of competing. There the differences between hard and moderate end. On both sides they believe that if their own successes – but above all the government’s mistakes – once again position Macri as a candidate with possibilities, it will be difficult for him not to be tempted with a second presidency that allows him get rid of the bitter taste left by the first one.
During the interview with this medium, Macri He acknowledged that his judicial front worries him. “I I worry and I take care; It’s been a chase since day one I am not afraid of going to prison because I have not done anything wrong, but I have to be attentive to control these abuses that end in raids, in airing my personal data. They are quite violent things, ”he replied. Macri is concerned about the forthcoming appearance of a book that collects a series of accusations made against him by his brother Mariano. And he is busy publishing another, in which he reviews the four years of his presidential term. The latter will be called “First half”. A suggestive name for those who seek to install the idea that today they do not see themselves as a candidate.
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