December 17, 2017

#OnTheCampaignTrail A retrospective look at the week’s developments

Friday, July 28, 2017

Candidates take a back seat to key Congress vote, Macri at large

Florencio Randazzo and actress Inés Estevez (among others) dining last Saturday with M. Legrand (who had earlier said that she would “lay down her life” to prevent a return of Kirchnerism and La Cámpora). Legrand ticked off Estévez for flashing a Peronist “V” while Randazzo’s efforts to tell the veteran hostess that her attitudes also contributed to the “rift” were ignored
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By Michael Soltys / Senior Editor

Our day-by-day impression of the midterm campaign continues as follows in its second week:

FRIDAY. After 20 months the electoral courts finally deny approval of the 2015 presidential accounts of the three main contenders grouping some 90 percent of the vote (Mauricio Macri, Daniel Scioli and Sergio Massa) as well as three other lists. Macri goes beyond his institutional role as host of the Mercosur summit in Mendoza, doing some campaigning on the side by treating a local crowd to some tough talk against drug-trafficking.

LAST WEEKEND. Chaco holds its provincial elections (see also pages 18 and 19). Plenty of campaigning but most of it off camera (also due to much of the press not on winter holidays taking the weekend off). Macri’s Let’s Change presses door-bells with its timbreos around town and suburbs. Ex-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner also engages in low-level campaigning for a Senate seat in Buenos Aires province — indeed her son Máximo is more visible around Greater Buenos Aires. Massa shifts his campaign to the social networks. Running for the Workers’ Leftist Front, Néstor Pitrola descends on the Atlantic coast and highlights the dangers facing workers’ rights. Peronist Florencio Randazzo (Cumplir) takes perhaps the least expected route — lunching with Mirta Legrand, who as reported in last week’s “On the campaign trail,” said that she would “lay down her life” (all 90 years of it so far) to prevent a return of Kirchnerism and La Cámpora.

MONDAY. Vice-President Gabriela Michetti resumes her “anti-campaign” — her proposals to change the electoral system so that there are only elections every six years, instead of two. Meanwhile her boss President Macri joins Buenos Aires province Governor María Eugenia Vidal in the Greater Buenos Aires district of Tres de Febrero — unsurprisingly, they make Metrobus part of their mobility.

TUESDAY. CFK visits a small family textile workshop in Moreno, following her visit to a dairy farm in Lincoln last week (as described in “On the campaign trail”) — she would seem to be seeking a profile as a champion of small business, on top of her more familiar populist image.

WEDNESDAY. Vidal chooses a bad day to present her province’s Let’s Change candidates in Lanús because all eyes are on Congress where the parliamentary future of former Planning Minister Julio De Vido is being decided — probably the biggest campaigning move of the month in real terms. Doubtless, Vidal does not feel that De Vido is De Vidal. Meanwhile Macri attends a youth conclave in Tucumán, where his polarisation strategy leads him to confront Peronist Governor Juan Manzur — a figure with whom he had maintained cordial relations until recently (not least during last July’s Bicentennial) over issues like lemon exports. Macri harshly accuses Manzur of misallocating public funds among other criticisms. Finally, fortune smiles on Randazzo — electoral courts challenge the validity of Peronist rival Mario Ishii’s list.

THURSDAY. Macri stumps in Posadas and Misiones. CFK’s senatorial running-mate Jorge Taiana complements her overtures to small business by joining auto workers in San Martín.

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