Despite the triumph of Juntos por el Cambio in the PASO at the national level, the former president Mauricio Macri could not profit from the victory, since several of the candidates for whom he bet lost the internal of their respective districts.
In the photo of the winners of the day, the name of the founder of the PRO was overshadowed and the lights were focused on the head of the Buenos Aires Government, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, the main shipowner of the opposition, and his candidates “doves”, such as Diego Santilli in the Province, María Eugenia Vidal in the City and Rogelio Frigerio in Entre Ríos.
Macri joined the campaign in the last stretch and, in addition to accompanying the applicants chosen by Rodríguez Larreta in the City and the Province, personally supported leaders of other areas of the country such as Córdoba, where he was treated with honors during the closing of the Mario Negri and Gustavo Santos, candidates for senator and deputy, respectively.
However, in the province where the former president feels more recognized, to the point of having stated that he is “one more Cordovan”, suffered a painful setback with Negri’s defeat against Luis Juez in the primary of the opposition alliance and by a significant difference in votes.
The duo that a good part of the Cordovan PRO had had in mind was Judge-Santos, but the former Minister of Tourism of Macri closed a last-minute agreement with Negri to go first on the list of deputies, after working almost a month together with the former mayor of the provincial capital.
With the “big stick” from Santos, his favorite in Córdoba, the former president expressed his preference for the list headed by Negri, a decision that snubbed Judge and a good part of the militant structure of the PRO of Córdoba.
On several occasions, the judge stated that Macri “disappointed” him and that he “made a mistake” from “a whim”, and continued to hold him after having won the PASO.
Unlike Macri, the president of PRO, Patricia Bullrich, was organic and from the first moment accompanied the decision of the yellow party to prop up the candidacy of Judge, a full-fledged “hawk”.
Distanced from Macri after he let go of his hand in the frustrated inner Buenos Aires with Vidal, Bullrich made it clear in Córdoba that he has his own game and came out strengthened with the victory of the Judge.
Fate did not accompany Macri in Santa Fe either, where he bet everything on the “Santa Fe Nos Une” list headed by the current PRO national deputy Federico Angelini and by the media Amalia Granata, a pair that was the favorite to win the internship in the PASO in the category of candidates for national senators.
Nevertheless, that list was third in the internal that finally won the radical list of Carolina Losada and Mario Barletta: In this case, Macri shared the cost with Rodríguez Larreta and Bullrich, who also supported the Angelini- Granata formula.
In Tucumán, the former president was not right either, who risked for José Cano for the Senate and Silvia Elías de Pérez for the Chamber of Deputies, but that formula was comfortably third in the internal Juntos por el Cambio, where he won the list of Germán Alfaro and of the president of the local PRO, Ramiro Beti, candidates for senator and deputy.
The paradox is that in the last stretch of the campaign, in the Province and the City of Buenos Aires, the candidates of Rodríguez Larreta turned to Macri to seduce the electorate of the toughest opposition to the Government, given the threat posed by an eventual flight of votes to the liberal or libertarian options.
The pale image that the PRO Government had left after the defeat of 2019, especially due to the lack of achievements in the economic sphere, was the reason why the opposition front went through a process of reviewing its leadership.
The displacement was so evident that Macri could not impose his candidates in Capital and Province (Patricia Bullrich and Jorge Macri) and it was Rodríguez Larreta who took absolute control of the armed opposition.
In this context of withdrawal, Macri went on vacation with his family to Europe (where he stayed for 43 days) and remained oblivious to the threads due to the assembly of the lists: he did not return to the country until the beginning of the electoral campaign.