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“He called us assassins!” The reviews of Emilio Monzo against the “hawks” of Pro, the macrista tribe where the most extremist sectors of Together for Change live, sparked an internal debate in the WhatsApp group that shares Patricia Bullrich with his loyal While Fernando Iglesias The Waldo Wollf They asked to go out to the intersection of Monzó, who had targeted the “populist monsters” of JxC who “sell false medicines” and “bombard dialogue” with the Government, the more moderate and pragmatic of the hard wing advised putting cold cloths and “not uploading the price” to the former head of the Chamber of Deputies, who remains at odds with Mauricio Macri and supports the presidential project of Horacio Rodriguez Larreta. “Calm down, we don’t mess around”, decreed Bullrich, with the aim of preventing his side from losing its profile, falling into internalism and further irritating the Cambiamite voters, who demand unity against Kirchnerism.

Determined to fight for the succession of Alberto Fernandez in 2023, the head of Pro deals with a double challenge: she needs to manage the conflicts with her rivals from the dialogue wing of the opposition conglomerate, a “form and substance” arm wrestling for the future profile of the force, and neutralize tensions in the ranks one of the toughest in JxC.

Just as Larreta faces pressure from moderate figures, such as Monzó or Martín Lousteau, who ask him to assume a greater role in the opposition coalition and set up a table of moderates to stop the “hawks”, Bullrich got used to putting on his suit as a tightrope walker to prevent the escalation of fights between his sides with more intransigent positions and eventual allies for his presidential project, such as the radical Gerardo Morales. Yesterday, he tried to seal the truce with the man from Jujuy, who had shown himself with Larreta after an exchange of accusations with the “halcones” for the loan that the IMF granted to Macri during the Cambiemos administration.

Morales and Bullrich
Morales and Bullrich

While getting ready for a raid along the Atlantic Coast and “productive zones” in the interior of Buenos Aires – he will also spend a day in Punta del Este -, with a campaign format similar to the one used by Macri (“door to door”) in 2015 , Bullrich tries to align his troop after a year end plagued by crosses and internal conflicts in JxC. The head of “the hawks” not only had to intercede to avoid a harsh counteroffensive against Monzó, with whom Bullrich dialogues with some frequency, but also balanced the controversy over the reform of the law that put an end to the indefinite reelections of mayors or the tensions that aroused in JxC the call for the dialogue of the Government for the negotiation with the IMF.

Bullrich is convinced that the hard wing was strengthened by the verdict of the polls. He considers that the “great value” of the “hawks” is to have achieved a “greater insertion” than the moderates, especially for their active role during the pandemic, with the marches against the Government. That political capital, they believe in the leadership of Pro, pushed the “doves” to use a more combative tone against Kirchnerism during the campaign. For this reason, attentive to the social thermometer, Bullrich wants his troops to distance themselves from the inmates and set their sights on the Government. “We have already dragged JxC into a campaign of our style, now we cannot fall into internalism,” they say about the former minister. Bullrich seeks to evangelize the most extreme “hawks”, who launch sharp darts against themselves and others from Twitter. “We cannot sign up for all the races or be like the dogs that come out to bark when a car passes,” they comment in the environment of the former minister.

Closing campaign of Diego Santilli in La Plata.  Patricia Bullrich;  Rodriguez Larreta Schedule
Closing campaign of Diego Santilli in La Plata. Patricia Bullrich; Rodriguez Larreta ScheduleJames Hafford

Launched in the race for the Casa Rosada, Bullrich bets on “representing and defending the causes of society” to strengthen his presidential project. Therefore, he tried to sanction the deputies of JxC -the larretista Alvaro Gonzalez and the radical Gabriela Brouwer de Konig– who were absent from the session in which the modifications to personal property were voted on. He lost the vote at the national table 14 to 1, but his goal was to show a reaction to an issue that unnerved many JxC voters. In that segment of the electorate, they say in Pro, the tax issue is a core aspect. Bullrich also spoke of “malpractice” in the JxC block, an elevation shot to Silvia Lospennato (Pro).

His differences with Larreta -he notices him more “hawk”- exceed the forms or the discursive style. While the mayor is committed to staying in the center of the political spectrum to add new adherents to JxC -from progressives to Peronists-, Bullrich intends to consolidate the hard core of Pro and weaves to incorporate libertarians, such as Javier Milei The Jose Luis Espert to broaden the coalition’s base of support and prevent leakage. Promoter of the “force of change”, she wants to discuss within JxC the country model and the proposals to get out of poverty or combat insecurity. Unlike Larreta, he believes that the government of Alberto Fernandez It has an economic program, aimed at generating “obstacles” and inflation or maintaining exchange restrictions, and that Kirchnerism does not seek an agreement with the IMF for ideological reasons.

In the group of the “halcones”, which have Bullrich and Macri as their main exponents, different internal lines of macrismo coexist. There are those who answer to the headline of Pro, like Gerardo Milman, and those who report to the former president, such as Hernan Lombardi. The debate over the re-re and the dialogue with the government over the debt divided the waters in the troops.

Among the squires of “la Piba” there are several former legislators and officials of Cambiemos with whom the head of Pro had shared “Group A”, the opposition space to Cristina Kirchner that was put together in 2009 in Congress. Milman, Bullrich’s right-hand man and former member of GEN, tried to take the block leadership from Christian Ritondo it barely landed in Congress –another vote lost by the “hawks”-. And he was one of those in charge of going out to answer Monzó. It was a light reply, with a dose of irony due to the political course of the former mayor of Carlos Tejedor.

The former ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) also makes up Bullrich’s side. Paula Bertol; the former director of Enacom Silvana Giudici, the former senator Federico Pinedo and the former deputy Edward Amadeo. Pinedo and Bertol opt for a moderate profile within the hard wing. Even both maintain a good link with the “pigeons” and sectors of the ruling party. In the former minister’s circle of trust there is also the Buenos Aires legislator Juan Pablo Arenaza Y Damien Arabia, secretary of the presidency of Pro. All of them push Bullrich’s “crusade” for the Casa Rosada. and get excited about it feedback of your “contact” campaign. Bullrich herself was surprised in Mar del Plata by the shows of support in the streets. “He’s going to squeeze everyone’s hands, like Carlos Menem,” say those close to the former minister.

Near Bullrich they also fly over the former official Florence Arietto and the former dancer Maximilian War, by “Pro Social”, among others. He is also in the WhatsApp group of the hard Laura Alonso, former head of the OA.

The most unruly and extremist within the “hawks” are Iglesias, who entered the Buenos Aires JxC list sponsored by Bullrich, and Wolff, who aspires to compete for the Capital in 2023. Both made the head of Pro uncomfortable when they unfilteredly pointed against Morales for his statements about the debt or repudiated the legislators of Pro and the UCR who voted in favor of the reform of the re-election law in Buenos Aires. While Monzó calls them “digital assassins” or “sentinels”, Morales collaborators call them “owls”. For Larreta, they are minority sectors within the space, but they are highly politicized and noisier. Among the owners of the Buenos Aires chief, there are those who call the “halcones” “converts”. “Bullrich was a Peronist and went through several parties. Milman came from GEN and Iglesias left CC. We have been in Pro for much longer, ”a larretista boasts.

Bullrich and Macri speak without intermediaries. They exchange opinions on current affairs, but, they are close to both, they do not usually reconcile positions. After the distancing generated between the two by the displacement of Macri from the inmates due to the electoral assembly, they recovered the good harmony. The phrase “Take care of Patricia”, attributed to the president by various sides of the minister, generates various interpretations in Pro. On the one hand, there are those who believe that Macri tries to preserve the party’s link with society. “The ‘take care of Patricia’ does not mean neglect Horacio,” remarks a collaborator of the former minister. And, on the other hand, those who consider that Macri is trying to compensate for the difference in resources between Larreta and Bullrich in the competition for the Casa Rosada. A Pro leader who talks with both offers another reading: “It is a message from Macri so that Patricia does not go too far.”


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