Alberto Fernández, the megaphone and the damage to the image of a president who struggles to delegate

Alberto Fernández used a megaphone to reassure people in the wake of Maradona

A picture says more than a thousand words. You don’t have to be a communications graduate to know. That is why the appearance of the video that captured the moment when Alberto Fernández, megaphone in hand, tried to stop the barbarism that erupted in Maradona’s wake as they closed the doors of the Casa Rosada, it was – possibly – the deadliest missile launched on the presidential statue since its inauguration nearly a year ago.

That graphics record became a meme that immediately went viral on social media. And, like that fateful day in 2001 when Fernando De la Rúa didn’t know how to leave the Showmatch studio, the Alberto of the megaphone was the laughing stock of locals and strangers.

There is a central difference to the detriment of the current president. The radical was a jinx on someone else’s land. As ridiculous as it is to be forgiven or justified. Alberto revealed his way of wielding power (right?) In his own field. Like the king from Hans Christian Andersen’s story, the president was literally naked to the society that voted for him and the society that did not vote for him, when he was overwhelmed by the crowd that did not follow any of his inaudible orders.

Fernández has always been known to have problems with delegation. From day one he was his own Chief of Staff, his own spokesman, became Minister of Health in the midst of a pandemic … This week, he made his debut as Chancellor by renouncing Felipe in his first conversation with Joe Biden. Solá and he even bragged in public and private to be Martín Guzmán’s political operator.

But he had never fallen so low in the official hierarchical structure. On Thursday, December 26, Fernández became the head of the Military House, the person responsible for guarding the operation and the security of the Government House. Kind of like La Rosada’s goalkeeper 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️.

Legend has it that if someone is allowed to sit in the Rivadavia chair, it is essential that they don’t see you coming. History is full of examples in this regard. Somehow, all presidents of democracy were ignored before or during their tenure.

Alberto is no exception. But the disrespect with which most political class (including much of Peronism) and the forces of power today speak of the current president privately, in informal conversations or in privileged WhatsApp groups, is only comparable to the reactions of the same. red circle in the last year of the De la Rúa government.

If they had initially bet on him getting Cristina out of his chair and later called him a puppet, now it is clear that it is him and not she who – for better or for worse – decides. There are those who come to long for the Kirchnerist system at the seizure of power. The role in government this week with the Solá case and the made-up version of the talk of the President and Biden, and the twists and turns with the retirement formula that ended in a public dispute over the authorship of the last of the changes in which There is no Taking into account the decree increase for retirees, it was a paperwork that brought more than mercy grief. “Miss, Miss, the idea was mine, mine, mine …”, they pulled at the top of the power.

Unusual but real.

Felipe Solá was the protagonist of one of last week's main events
Felipe Solá was the protagonist of one of last week’s main events

Alberto is not Fernando. That is crystal clear. And Peronism is not radicalism. But Fernández seemed much stronger and more terrifying when he was Nestor and Cristina’s chief of staff than he is now as president. As if you are at the top of the pyramid, the antithesis is of your comfort zone.

Power decides. Deciding is executing. And execution involves tilting the balance in one way or another. And that someone is always going to whore you. To Fernández, the power concentrated in his person seems to make him uncomfortable or confused at some point. As if he was more alphanic or radical than peronist.

In the meantime, the ruling alliance seems to resign and adapt to this operation. In more days, the government and especially Alberto may have a brilliant victory to start the election year: the sanction of the law of safe and free legal abortion. Thursday the 10th, exactly one year after the transfer of orders, the Chamber of Deputies will vote. And a few days later in senators. The bills are more than fair. Especially in the Senate. But the green scarf has formed an unexpected couple there: CFK and Martín Lousteau fight side by side for the votes.

The radical senator, who is well behind in the 2023 presidential race but at the same time the one with the least wear and tear, is confident they will succeed. And he is one of the few in the opposition, along with deputy Silvia Lospenato, who does not stop to decide whether the green victory in Congress adds something politically to Alberto or not. They go for their beliefs and for ideological coherence.

But abortion is not the only problem that cuts across cross-cutting interests in the midst of the crisis. The other two are the disbandment of the PASO and the re-election of the mayors of Buenos Aires.

There are official and opposition operators on both counts. After the president’s meeting with governors across the country – except Horacio Rodríguez Larreta – in Olivos on Friday, the possibility that there will be no PASO next year is closer to speculation to materialize.

“If, as promised, the governors submit a bill in Congress with the signatures of all their deputies, the bill will be impossible to stop,” they say in the Chamber of Deputies.

On the other hand, the mayors of Buenos Aires started their movement to try to sustain themselves by legal means for another period. Ultimately, not one of them was the spearhead, but school counselors from the San Martin Ward and Almirante Brown.

The step with the fingerprints of Juanchi Zavaleta and Gabriel Katopodis has a difficult obstacle to overcome: the Buenos Aires Supreme Court. “They don’t play for time anymore, they should have waited. They left in their tracks ”, they described from massismo with a Borgian metaphor, implying that the strategy is wrong.

Clearly, on this point everyone is beating to the rhythm of next year’s elections. The government is already lighting candles from San Guzmán. The minister who earned his first cucarda from the agreement with the private bondholders and who goes for the second and has managed to tame the leak dollar or MEP and Blue, has at least for now the mission of arriving with winds of concrete economic next October recovery.

The race is not easy. The recovery drawing that started as a V last month became the square root symbol. In other words, the initial growth moment stopped. We will see how it continues in the coming months.

For the time being, Guzmán is gradually being given political space. He learned to sow balancing between Alberto and Cristina without a doubt. He often talks to Axel Kicillof and has an acceptable relationship with Sergio Tomas and Máximo.

His refusal to deliver a fourth IFE drew a lot of internal criticism, especially from the Cámpora. “He’s too fiscal to be a Keynesian,” they noted.

Without losing his temper (the only one who now managed to get him out of the box was Secretary of State Solá), warned by these suspicions, Guzmán appealed to the internal WhatsApp to explain with his equally exhausting writing: “Those among us who agree with Keynes think that in recessions we need to have an expansionary fiscal policy (and what to do with it). To make this happen, we need to be able to finance these expansions. when you need it What we do today is have fiscal policies that are as broad as possible, but no more than possible, because if we go overboard with funding constraints, we will eventually put pressure on the dollar and therefore prices. And it would even shrink for the economy. It is essential to act with common sense and pragmatism ”.

(To be continued)

Bonus track

Horacio Rodríguez Larreta prepares to fight for supremacy in 2023
Horacio Rodríguez Larreta prepares to fight for supremacy in 2023

Methodically to the point of annoyance, since he decided to run the presidential race, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta has added weekly hours of study of history and geopolitics, as well as meetings with political leaders, to his agenda. For example, this week it hosted a diverse trio: Miguel Angel Pichetto, Miguel Angel Toma and Ramón Puerta, the equivalent of some 200 years of Peronism. The former vice-presidential candidate was lapidary in his diagnosis: “If you want to get there you have to add a lot more political volume to your space … these guys surrounding you are enough for the city but they can’t go beyond General Paz …”.

The one who seems to have learned is Mauricio Macri that he is now becoming the most passionate about despising the thread. Mayors, councilors, deputies, senators, diplomats and even school counselors stop by their office in Olivos to speak with the former president.

Three years is an eternity. But as it once happened to Mauricio, if Horacio doesn’t kill father, it is better sooner than later that he won’t come. “The problem is simple, it was shipped in advance,” a pro reference also said in a Borgian tone.

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