Strategies and Commitments for Sergio Massa’s Campaign: Middle Class Focus and International Relations

2023-08-30 04:52:00

Before going to sleep, the minister/candidate grabs his cell phone for the last time in the day and types the word “Agenda”. He presses send and immediately his secretaries send him in detail what he has to do and the commitments for the next day. With little sleep, constant negotiations, and non-stop travel that make him sleep away from his house most of the week, it’s hard for him to remember everything. On Monday of next week, however, Sergio Massa is very clear that the strategy and communication team that works for UxP will present him with the plan for the second stage of the campaign, which has less and less time left.

The head of the Treasury portfolio already had meetings in which they showed him some ideas, but clarifies that “the star will be the candidate and not the consultant”, and that, although up to now he has not taken full charge of the issue, he will to do when I finish sorting out some big issues on the economic agenda in mid-September. He is also clear that, once this journey is over, he will tour the 23 provinces and the City of Buenos Aires, he still does not know under what format.

Ads for the middle class and international storefront

“Look for votes, not dollars,” Lula da Silva recommended to him in Brasilia on Monday, but Massa, beyond the advice of the Brazilian president, insists that he has several days left to fully put on the candidate’s hat. The scales that remain, he explains, are: four announcements of economic measures, in addition to those he has already launched, –two will be given between Thursday and Friday during a trip to Entre Ríos– and a trip to Madrid on September 14 where The CAF board will meet – a key actor for Massa these months -.

Then he will try to join a tour of the Middle East, with the aim of getting countries like Qatar to join the CAF (former Andean Development Corporation, today the Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean) and provide financing for the region. Once back, Massa promises his ranks that he will travel “to the 24 provinces” before the elections. The clock ticks.

The role of social networks in the campaign

The minister considers that the measures he announced this Sunday were well received and he was happy with the reproductions that the different videos had on social networks. “He added 20 percent followers in two days and all broke the viewing record compared to the other publications,” they repeated around him. Massa also closely follows the Milei phenomenon on different social networks such as TikTok and worries “about the paradigm shift”. He believes that no one watches the traditional media anymore and that politics has to find new ways to reach various audiences, including the youth sector.

“Without the power of politics there is no power of the state and processes like this are coming, which are only possible due to the vacuum of politics,” they say close to the minister and, along these lines, they talk about the need to reach agreements with other sectors supporters who claim democracy and institutionality. “Agreeing is not spurious,” they hear Massa say and explain that “it is necessary to make clear agreements for society because if not, politics has no power to confront other corporations such as the media and the judiciary.” “If I lose, it is the demonstration of the failure of a system by self-destruction,” he is heard repeating.

Others, from their environment, consider that “the campaign of fear will not be enough”, and that care must be taken at this point, because it can even be harmful. “You have to talk about the Argentina that is coming because people vote forward,” they recommend to Massa and he listens.

Malena’s landing

In the campaign, which the minister says he will carry on his shoulder, his partner, Malena Galmarini, joined the team working on Miter Street — under the watchful eye of Interior Minister Eduardo “Wado” de Pedro. There, among other things, they are working on the presidential debates that will be held on October 1 at the National University of Santiago del Estero and on the 8th of that month at the UBA Law School, in CABA.

This week, the minister plans to resolve the issue of temporary soybean imports, as he announced in one of the twelve videos he published, and between Thursday and Friday he will make two nationwide economic announcements from Entre Ríos. Among the four that remain, according to what they say in their environment, they will be aimed at improving the situation of the middle class. Then, on September 14, Massa would travel to Madrid. The CAF board will meet there and vote on the incorporation of Latin American and Caribbean countries into the space. At that meeting, the plan for the incorporation of Middle Eastern countries will also be put on the table. Paraguay will request the entry of Saudi Arabia; Argentina from Qatar and they will also ask for the United Arab Emirates. This issue will be discussed in December, at a meeting to be held in Rio de Janeiro. Massa is grateful to Qatar because, along with CAF, they are the ones who helped him deal with the IMF due dates last month and show that the Fund is no longer a lender of last resort. After the trip to the Arab world, it will be the turn of the provinces.

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