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OPINION AND ANALYSIS | 28-08-2023 15:14

Patricia Bullrich appeals to the epic, vowing to end Kirchnerismo

Patricia Bullrich believes she has unified the opposition coalition behind her and is convinced of the message she needs to express: only Juntos por el Cambio can end Kirchnerism once and for all.

Patricia Bullrich believes that this week has solidified the opposition coalition and has Juntos por el Cambio united behind her candidacy. Now she is preparing to start outlining his economic proposals and, in addition, to proclaim an epic tag-line for her campaign. Bullrich will face these next 50 days with a clear slogan: "Juntos por el Cambio is the only space that can put an end to Kirchnerism forever." It is an idea that implies a clear differentiation with her libertarian rival for the Presidency, Javier Milei.

It is one of the phrases that Bullrich repeats most often. The political anchor is the defeat of the ruling party in Santa Cruz and, above all, the renewed attempt to win Buenos Aires Province. The gap from Governor Axel Kicillof is not huge, only three points. "We have to prevent it from becoming a refuge where all the Kirchnerites stay. Only we can defeat them for good," Bullrich told her close friends.

For this reason, the work that her gubernatorial candidate, Lanús Mayor Néstor Grindetti, has been doing will be key come October. To support him, Bullrich plans to make the Conurbano and the region’s big cities some of her key campaign destinations ahead of October 22. Last Friday she was in Tres de Febrero with Mayor Diego Valenzuela, accompanied by Luis Petri, her candidate for vice-president. Over the weekend, she was in Hurlingham.

In addition to the province, the presidential candidate will on Tuesday head to Santa Fe, where elections will be held on September 10. Everything indicates that coalition ally UCR candidate Maximiliano Pullaro could be elected governor. The province, and Rosario in particular, are Bullrich's obsession: she has already designed a mega-plan for the fight against drugs. She fears that if she does not start the fight soon, drug violence will continue to spread to other provinces.

The other two provinces where Bullrich will be seen campaigning are Chaco and Mendoza. In the former, the radical Leandro Zdero is looking to wrest provincial control from heavyweight Peronist Governor Jorge Capitanich; in the latter, another Radical, Alfredo Cornejo, will try to return to the governor position.

Meanwhile, Bullrich and her campaign team are debating whether to announce her future ministers in the event she reaches the Casa Rosada. So far, the 67-year-old has agreed to outline who will head the Economy Ministry. Everything indicates that she will anoint Carlos Melconian, when they meet after the economist's return from the United States. 

One sector of the opposition insists that Bullrich should already be outlining her team for government. "They have to be ministers who you don't need Google," they say to differentiate themselves from Milei. Among the names being banded around: Ricardo López Murphy and at least one of the outgoing radical governors – Gerardo Morales of Jujuy or Rodolfo Suárez of Mendoza, for example.

Bullrich prefers that the horsetrading be relegated until after October. "I don't want this to look like a lottery; people are not interested in politicians, they want us to talk to them about their problems and how we are going to solve them," she argues.

How the message is communicated is also key: Bullrich insists that it will be an "austere" campaign, based on "direct contact" with voters and not political marketing. In this context, she thinks that if he wins the presidency, her life should not change dramatically either. Bullrich wants to continue living in her flat, a stone’s throw from the Botanical Gardens in Palermo. Ex-German chancellor Angela Merkel is not just a model, she’s a lighthouse. Bullrich doesn’t even want to stop doing her weekly shopping.

Ezequiel Spillman

Ezequiel Spillman

Editor de Política de Diario Perfil. Mail: [email protected]

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