The unplanned offensive against Mauricio Macri by “institutional populism” during the Cambiemos government became a turning point on his way to the 2023 presidential elections. With nine months to go before PASO, the radical doctor Facundo Manes he opted to “stop the ball”, reorganize his campaign team and redefine his strategy with the aim of re-emerging on the opposition board. Those around him say that he is determined to compete for the succession of Alberto Fernandez and that for now he is not contemplating getting out of the national fight, despite the fact that his image suffered the impact of the affair with Macri, according to the polls they consume in Together for Change, and his electoral possibilities and his eventual ability to manage a crisis like the one current are under discussion for the heads of the UCR, until recently its main promoters.
Faced with an uncertain panorama due to the crisis and the unknowns surrounding the eventual nominations of Macri and Cristina Kirchner, Manes preferred to move from the center of the scene to rearm his troop of advisers. Willing to get into the ring to compete in the PASO, he still boasts of having the support of a sector of radicalism after the rudeness of Gerardo Morales Y Martin Lousteauappointed Sergio Doval, from the consultancy Taquion, as the new coordinator of his campaign. The data was revealed last Sunday by THE NATION. Until now, the head of the strategy is the political scientist Ana Iparraguirre, who would continue as an external adviser, according to a source close to Manes. Other members of the doctor’s environment deny that there are fundamental changes and assure that Iparraguirre will continue to command the strategy. Strictly speaking, Doval, who will dissociate himself from the pollster in the coming days to dedicate himself full time to the Manes project, he had already collaborated with the neurologist’s team in recent months.
With the restructuring of his small table and the new distribution of roles, Doval will influence the strategy and coordination of the doctor’s campaign. In another sign that he is still launching into the presidential race, Manes has opened a bunker in Palermo. There, he will bring together his loyalists and the technical teams of ConArgentina, his ideas powerhouse, who design a government plan. Maximilian Abbothead of the Buenos Aires UCR, who aspires to position himself in the fight for the succession of Axel Kicillof, will continue to collaborate with the construction of the Manes presidential plan. Josefina Mendoza, who advises the neuroscientist in Congress, and Manuel Terradez, a key leader in the Manes scheme. His brother, Gastón, is his main owner and Ernest Sanz He is the doctor’s advisor in the shadows.
Although the doctor’s strategists downplay the changes in the team and deny that they are preparing an electoral relaunch, Manes will once again raise his profile in an attempt to reposition himself in the dispute for the presidency. He will resume his tours, give interviews in the media again and present a reissue of one of his latest books, a way of promoting himself.
While looking for a team in the opposition universe, Manes intends to reinstall himself in an unstable scenario due to the economic and political situation. “He has desire and determination. But there is a long way to go and there are a thousand variables to be resolved ”, they say close to the doctor.
Manes reduced his public exposure after the controversy over his criticism of the founder of Pro, whom he linked to illegal espionage and judicial operators. The trip abroad – he was in Spain with Philip Gonzalez in an act of the PSOE and fulfilled academic commitments – allowed her to distance herself from the JxC inmate. The furious reaction of the Pro priests to his criticism did not surprise him. On the other hand, the pronouncement of the UCR national committee, which Morales promoted and Lousteau endorsed, was a shock to the doctor and his team. For months, Manes has perceived that a sector of radicalism feels more comfortable supporting the Pro than disputing the positions of power to lead JxC. He notices in some of his co-religionists a kind of stage fright at the possibility of governing again. And he believes that the noisy internal of Pro due to the resurgence of Macri and the tensions between Horacio Rodriguez Larreta Y Patricia Bullrich favor the chances of radicalism. He is confident that, despite the fact that Morales or Lousteau pave the way for an electoral agreement with the heirs of macrismo, a part of the centennial party retains the vocation of leading the opposition coalition.
Manes does not intend to be a candidate for Buenos Aires governor or accompany one of the Pro candidates in the presidential formula. In fact, his aversion is not only towards Macri. It is that, beyond the fact that they agree that Argentina needs to overcome the crack and bet on a model of openness and consensus to clean up the economy, it would be very difficult for there to be an understanding between Manes and Larreta. They talk more about what is known, but the doctor does not forgive the mayor for his underground actions during the last campaign to wear him down. Despite the flirtation of Larretism, the link is broken.
Manes wants to be a candidate for president and compete in the internal JxC. He still does not know which team he will be on the starting grid with. That is to say, if he will be able to unite radicalism – now more inclined to negotiate with the Pro – or if he will play with a new scheme. In his mind, that would imply dragging in a part of radicalism and adding other allies.
Despite the fact that Cristina Kirchner and Macri are gaining more and more prominence on the public scene, Manes believes that a majority of society will bet on “new” figures for change in 2023. This is what he defines as an option that surpasses Pro and Kirchnerism . His conversation with Felipe González convinced him that, despite the fact that the extremes are noisy, he must bet on the silent majority. “The future is summoning the majority of Argentines,” he said Thursday during an act in Martínez that he shared with the mayor of San Isidro, Gustavo Posse, who was an ally of Larreta and Diego Santilli in Buenos Aires in past legislatures. The event, organized by the Scalabrini Ortiz National University, was already planned months ago.
The doctor was concerned about the inflationary escalation and the acceleration of the crisis. His peers in radicalism ask him to reinvent his narrative and focus on economic issues, rather than the health or education axes that had a greater place on the public agenda during the pandemic. “Many Argentines feel disenchanted with politics,” Manes slipped. And he added: “There is no more time to waste on political speculation. We have to do what we never did; face the path of development. Is he also disenchanted with the ruling class? Those who frequent it note that he is disappointed with his experience in Congress, due to the level of internalism and the troubles of the bagel. What’s more, among his interblock colleagues they noticed him disconnected during the last committee meetings.
Confident in the symptoms that he perceives in his tours, the doctor aspires to test himself in the STEP whether or not he measures well in the surveys. He trusts, they say close to him, more in the street thermometer than in the results of the polls. How will he go about getting funding if he doesn’t look competitive in the polls? Can you build your figure and settle at the national level without the structure of the UCR? An enigma to be deciphered by the neurologist. “If he does not measure, he will go the same thinking in 2027 ″, they comment.