Better to talk about cows than about Vox
The president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, with the Fadi cow in Añora (Córdoba).
The president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, with the Fadi cow in Añora (Córdoba).Rafa Alcaide (EFE)

—Are you going to vote for the PP or not?

“Say yes, man!”

A good part of the Spaniards discovered Juanma Moreno, the now president of Andalusia, the day a video went viral in which he spoke to a cow in the middle of the Andalusian campaign of 2018. The PP candidate, whom then everything the world called “Moreno Bonilla” with a certain disdain and not “Juanma” with sympathy, as now, it was not able to break the 2018 election campaign in any way. The polls detected a significant deterioration of the PSOE, but not so much as to lose the majority. Hardly any saw the vox effect that changed everything, nor the 400,000 PSOE voters who stayed home and ended the power of the Socialists in this community after 37 years.

At that time it seemed impossible for the right to add more votes than the left and Susana Díaz, who had governed for almost four years thanks to the support of Ciudadanos, was very calm. She was going to repeat as president, although it was not clear with what majorities. Moreno Bonilla was a candidate who did not raise his head. The polls indicated – in that they were right – that he would have the worst result in the history of the PP. Ciudadanos was on his heels, and he even feared an advance that would have been lethal for the popular candidate, with an added weakness: he opted for Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría in the PP national congress that year and lost. His head was in the air: Pablo Casado planned to relieve him if he failed.

The tireless Moreno, a politician with an eternal smile who gets along with everyone — “forgive me for not staying to hug you all at the end of the rally as I always do, but I have to run to Seville,” he apologized. at a rally in Malaga last week—didn’t know how to have more prominence against the hyperactive Díaz, who took center stage in the campaign. And that’s when the Fadi cow arrived, from the El Cruce farm in Cordoba. Like any candidate, Moreno took photos with cows. But that day he also did something unexpected, typical of a politician in difficulties as he was then: he tried to convince the cow to vote for the PP. The video quickly went viral, initially as a joke, but Moreno believes that he brought her luck. So much so that he has returned now, almost four years later, in search of the same cow.

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“I wanted to have this reunion with a talisman cow for me, which is Fady. That she is a highly recognized cow, that gives more than 70 liters of milk. We get along well, as you can see. What if I take it to San Telmo (headquarters of the presidency of the Andalusian Government)?” Moreno laughed four years later with the animal as the main protagonist of the day in a completely different campaign for him than the one in 2018.

The PSOE is now the one who suffers from the opposition to break a campaign that seems very comfortable for Moreno, with the enormous advantage that power gives. In the party they insist that one of his problems is that the president of the Board has been able to take advantage of the enormous amount of funds that the Government of Pedro Sánchez has given him during the pandemic to sell them as an achievement of his own management. It is the problem that the central Executives always have: they provide the funds and assume the cost of raising taxes or making the most difficult decisions, but it is the regional presidents who politically manage the expense and benefit. For this reason, and with the cow always as the protagonist, Juan Espadas entered the rag to try to vindicate the management of the PSOE and Sánchez, his great asset in this campaign.

“I don’t know if Moreno Bonilla has listened to the cow this time,” Swords in Guadix asked. “But the cow has told her to thank Pedro Sánchez and the Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, because the promised aid for the dairy sector is arriving. She has also asked why she doesn’t put Andalusia money. Whose cow did you eat?

The PSOE, aware of the difficulties of Espadas to enter a campaign that the PP has conscientiously designed so that absolutely nothing happens until the day of the elections that could mobilize an unmotivated left, enters the rag of Moreno’s strategic line . In this case with the cow, to try to get his messages out there. And this time he got it. But the big problem for the left-wing bloc’s campaign is that as long as they talk about cows and the friendly questions raised by Moreno — the candidate with the eternal smile who flees from any conflict — the left cannot get the campaign to focus in the great elephant in the room that did have a much greater presence in the elections in Castilla y León, something decisive for the PSOE to have a better result than expected: the possibility of Vox entering the Government with Macarena Olona as vice president .

Some leaders of the PP leadership are surprised that this possibility is not assuming any wear and tear for Moreno and is not activating the vote of the left. Members of the leadership of the PSOE point out, on the contrary, that little by little the campaign is picking up the pace and they trust that the second debate that will be broadcast next Monday on Canal Sur can change somewhat the dull rhythm of the first days. In the PP, practically all the leaders consulted assume that if Moreno does not exceed 50 seats, the mythical figure that Javier Arenas reached in 2012, Vox will manage to enter the Government because the president will not be encouraged to repeat the elections and Santiago Abascal will hold the pulse until the end. That is why they are surprised that the left has not managed to make that scenario of Olona as vice president dominate the campaign.

The PSOE and United We Can try it in every possible way, and yesterday also from Congress, in Madrid, where in the control session some ministers clashed with Vox while Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, its spokesman, boasted of that reality : “Mrs. Calviño, you have said that the PP and Vox are going to govern together in Andalusia and that is the only truth that you have said here.” In the leadership of the parties, everyone is clear that this is the most likely scenario. But in Andalusia it does not seem at the moment that this is going to change the course of the campaign.

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