start here

start here

The Daily IKN email digest, get all daily posts sent to you next day (& no ads)

6/18/15

Argentina Presidential election: The stage is now set

Recently in Argentina we've had the lethal fading of the Sergio Massa campaign, as well as the quick death of the never gonna work weird UNEN coalition, plus CFK's decision yesterday to ask Randazzo very nicely to stop pretending (it didn't go down well, but he toed the line). So aside from the minor distractions and non-important candidatures, we're now down to an obvious straight fight between two players for the job of President of Argentina in October 2015:

Daniel Scioli, the chosen one from the ranks of the CFK government.
Mauricio Macri, the mayor of Buenos Aires and head of the PRO party.

Scioli will win. Get used to the idea.

PS: For Ricardo, Abel and anyone else who might care. The last 48 hours have shown one main thing, that CFK is in charge. She's chosen Scioli and she's chosen correctly. Two points:

1) Randazzo never was, is or ever will be 'presidenciable', that special secret sauce a politico needs to make it to the top of the greasy pole. Scioli is, period. In the eyes of the wider electorate, Daniel Scioli has paid his dues and won't ruffle feathers as the Head of State. However, if Randazzo became the chosen one, Macri would be offered an open door to the election. It was only a matter of time and timing for the Randazzo retirement and what's more, his decision to do (or not do) what he wants in the election cycle this time around is unimportant. There's only one job that matters, folks, and it isn't the governorship of Buenos Aires province. Not this time, at least.

2) On the question of timing, that's now and that's CFK pulling the trigger via her decision to pair Scioli with Zannini and her decision to have a little chat with Florencio Randazzo. With these moves she states that a) she is in charge and b) a vote for Scioli is a vote for the continuation of the project. And it may come as a surprise to those outside looking in who only get to note Argentine goings on via mainstream English language press coverage, but both a) and b) are distinct advantages for Daniel Scioli. Despite what you might have heard, CFK is a popular president in Argentina and Argentina's not doing badly at all right now. That may pain you politically, that may go against your preconceived ideas of what inflation is, but that's also true.

Scioli's only weak point for October is the potential for accusations that he's the chameleon candidate, that he'll take Kirchnerism away from its path and pull it to the right thereby alienating its grassroots. The people who feel this way are some of the most vociferous in social media complaints about the way Randazzo has been treated today, which is another reason why CFK has acted early. By clearing the field today in June, long before the PASO comes around in August, she gets the time needed to rally the whole FpV, from the wishywashy Scioli faithful to the hardcore Campora, around the same flag. On this score, the choice of Zannini (by CFK, not Scioli) is inspired and hints at the rise in ambitions of Maximo Kirchner.

I digress, but the basic point is that CFK is much better at Argentina politics than all of us and she's now played the main cards. She's named Scioli (which changes nothing, he was always going to win the FpV nomination over Randazzo) but she's done it in a way that will assuage the doubts of the hardcore K members. Scioli is the one that is deemed 'presidenciable' by the wider population, he's now had the Kirchnerist collar fixed firmly round his neck. And he's your new President come December.

PPS: Life is a lottery