Thursday, August 22, 2019
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ARGENTINA | 29-03-2019 06:32

TV star Marcelo Tinelli tours BA province in search of political allies

Tinelli wants to compete with the support of a similar coalition structure like the one Sergio Massa had when his coalition beat the Kirchners during the 2013 mid-terms.

Argentina's iconic television presenter Marcelo Tinelli is travelling the country to meet with governor, mayors and local leaders.

But it's not enough. At least not enough for the media personality to finally dive into politics with a candidacy in Buenos Aires province. For now, he certainly won't run for the presidency.

Over the summer, Tinelli expressed his enthusiasm about Roberto Lavagna's public reappearance and expression of interest in challenging Mauricio Macri for the presidency. 

The host of popular entertainment programme Showmatch understood that in moments of economic crisis, the top job could not be easily filled by a political outsider like himself. So, he began contemplating the idea of running against Buenos Aires province Governor María Eugenia Vidal.

More meetings and trips to far away parts of the province were to follow. Beyond the cameras, he met former Economy minister Lavagna and national lawmaker Eduardo "Bali" Bucca to discuss the prospect of an alliance with lawmaker Marco Lavagna, Roberto's son.

Tinelli was also seen with San Juan province Governor Sergio Uñac Juan) and Córdoba governor Juan Sciaretti. He visited the city of Escobar, in Buenos Aires province, where he was welcomed by mayor Ariel Sujarchuk and Lomas de Zamora to visit the National University of Lomas de Zamora alongside dean Diego Molea.

Many more provincial mayors have shown openness toward Tinelli.

"I have no problems if he comes, he has more than 10 million follows on social media and the residents jump on top of one another to get a photo with him", a mayor from the province's third district told this reporter.

But mayors are less enthusiastic about Tinelli's positioning within the so-called "third option" - neither with Mauricio Macri nor former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. This is why they limit their interactions with him to photo opportunities.

Tinelli wants to compete with the support of a similar coalition structure like the one Sergio Massa had when his coalition beat the Kirchners during the 2013 mid-terms.

Massa's strategy involved building an alliance of mayors and provincial leaders in Buenos Aires. For now, those same variables are out of reach for Tinelli, with conversations and visits ending without promises.

In the province, political leaders are waiting to see what Cristina Fernández de Kirchner chooses to do. Meanwhile, Tinelli is begin to see that the photos are more useful to the politicians than to his own candidacy. That's why today, with just weeks left to decide on a run for office, it simply isn't enough.

But he is not losing time. In case politics is not the way forward, Tinelli is hoping the visits and new relationships will help his return to the small screen.

In times of economic crisis, taking his programme to rural and regional centres, as he had hoped, will have significant costs.

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Rosario Ayerdi

Rosario Ayerdi

Redactora de Diario Perfil. Mail: rayerdi@perfil.com

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