A candidate who just a few weeks ago was written off in the PSOE after six years of opposition in the Madrid Assembly, and who was looking for a way out as Ombudsman, has become the PSOE’s best asset for the next elections to the Community of Madrid.
Far from making a campaign that prioritizes the brand of the party or the flag of the Government of Spain, the Socialists are going to raise their campaign very focused on the image of Angel Gabilondo. Looking for points of virtue in a political style far from the current time. And trying to sell its flaws as assets. His management in the opposition has been said, even by much of the Madrid left, that it was an invisible task. With Mónica García, candidate of Más Madrid, I take on the clash with the regional government. This criticism was made recurrently in the PSOE itself. Where they wondered if with the figure of Isabel Díaz Ayuso in front of him, another profile was not necessary. And the conclusion was yes.
But the political calendar has changed. The PSOE has not had time to improvise a candidate, despite speculation about it, and Pedro Sánchez and his team have thought that Gabilondo might not be the right one as an opposition in a long and inflamed legislature. But it could be an electoral asset. The idea is to project the figure of Gabilondo as the antithesis of Isabel Díaz Ayuso. Who in the PSOE is associated with extremism and frivolity. The slogan of the socialist campaign for May 4 presented today is “Governing seriously”, and it highlights its candidate as someone “dull, serious and formal.”
Faced with the risk of a polarized campaign between Díaz Ayuso and Pablo Iglesias, the Socialists play the card that the profile truly different from that of the regional president is theirs. Because yes, that of “governing seriously” is also said by Gabilondo for the candidate of United We Can. I am not a marketing politician. I am on the left that really changes things, “Gabilondo said today at the presentation of his candidacy. Claiming “progressives who do not shout or gesticulate.” Well that. Against Ayuso, of course, but also against Iglesias.
The socialist candidate has started his campaign today backed by the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, who is going to overturn these weeks. The elections are a direct consequence of the fiasco of the motion of censure in the Region of Murcia. So the Socialists have also come out bruised from this process. But, at the same time, they see in the electoral call an opportunity for the right to lose the majority in the Community of Madrid. The PSOE has not governed the region since 1995.
Sánchez and Gabilondo are going to be in tandem in this campaign by dividing up roles. Today the Prime Minister has charged against Díaz Ayuso summarizing it in a “Zero in management and infinite tension”. He has also attacked her for her differentiated management of the pandemic and for “distancing herself week after week” from the consensus in the Interterritorial Health Council.
The campaign ventures tense. The Prime Minister accused Díaz Ayuso of promoting the electoral advance to block “600 million direct aid for SMEs and the self-employed.” This is not true, since the legal situation of the regional government has not changed and it only takes office after the electoral date. Not before. Díaz Ayuso has denied it at the moment from social networks. But it is also that, on March 12, María Jesús Montero and Nadia Calviño gave a good example at a press conference in La Moncloa that what the President of the Government said today is not true. Calviño asked the Community of Madrid to manage European funds “with agility”. In addition, the Calviño government spokesperson hopes that Madrid will manage the new aid package “with agility” despite its political situation. And the Government spokeswoman, María Jesús Montero, explained that the transfers of funds will be made to all the autonomous communities “regardless of when they are and it will already be, in the legal framework, where it will be decided how and in what way they are empowered to develop all the funds “. And he recalled that “until the electoral call is made, the Government is in operation, there is no different legal situation.”
The idea that has been repeated the most in that of seriousness: «The only project and the only candidate is Ángel Gabilondo. The only serious bet to govern Madrid seriously, “said Sánchez, claiming the” calm and responsibility “of his candidate” in the midst of this shouting. ” He has emphasized that he is “the only candidate who can govern with both hands” and the “only candidate who can arouse wills.” The message constitutes a bid to attract the most centrist electorate of Ciudadanos. Transferring the implicit message, also, that if the liberal formation finally achieves representation, Gabilondo is an adequate figure to seek an agreement. His new candidate, Edmundo Bal, does not clarify whether he would support the PP or the PSOE, if not simply that he will try to prevent “the extremes” from doing so. A message that already represents an important evolution in the message of its formation, which in the 2019 elections concurred with a veto to the figure of Gabilondo. His candidacy is, Sánchez said, a bet “opposed to the narcissism” of Díaz Ayuso and a government that “has had plenty of screams and lacked reasons.”
Gabilondo has deployed that speech. Bland, serious and formal. The question is whether that will be enough until May 4. And if not, it will be an exhausting message in a campaign that will last for almost two months. “In Madrid there is no lack of resources, what is left over is this show,” said the socialist candidate. His message: “Put aside fantasy and its delusions” and seek “answers to true needs.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism