Despite electoral polls indicating otherwise, Peronist Sergio Massa was surprisingly the candidate with the most votes in the first round of the Argentine elections, on October 22nd. And this unexpected turn can be credited, in part, to help from President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
In September of this year, it was the Brazilian president himself who offered Massa the services of Edinho Silva, a marketer linked to the Workers’ Party and who worked in the country’s main electoral campaigns in recent years. The result was that Massa’s campaign changed drastically after the arrival of Edinho Silva.
Edinho Silva’s team in Buenos Aires, according to the Argentine website La Política Online, is made up of a group of 20 Brazilian “barbecue lovers”. Among the team’s names are Sidônio Palmeira and Raul Rebelo and the consultancy Macaco Gordo, from Chico Kertesz.
Who is Edinho Silva?
Edinho Silva was a councilor, state and federal deputy, president of the São Paulo Workers’ Party and Secretary of Communications for Dilma Rousseff’s government in 2015. Furthermore, he is in his third term as mayor of the São Paulo city of Araraquara.
The Brazilian’s entry into Massa’s team was agreed in September, when the candidate — who is also Minister of Economy — sent trusted people to São Paulo to meet with the marketer.
In addition to his affinity with Peronism, Lula is worried about the impact on bilateral relations if Milei comes to power, according to the website La Política Online. The ultraliberal candidate has already made statements that he could take Argentina out of Mercosur, which would bring losses to the economic bloc.
After the Argentine primaries, in which the ultraliberal candidate Javier Milei appeared leading the vote, Massa’s videos were completely reformulated by advisors sent by Lula.
When analyzing the work done by Massa’s former campaign coordinator, the Catalan Gutiérrez-Rubí, Edinho Silva and company identified that associating Milei with the Argentine dictatorship would be a mistake. The solution would be to use another strategy, connecting Massa to younger voters.
The campaign then stopped focusing on Javier Milei with this focus on the past. Massa’s videos were aimed at the territory frequented by young people.
In recent weeks, Massa has been seen visiting unconventional political spaces, such as Gelatina, a streaming site with thousands of daily views that traditional media outlets cannot reach. With the change in the campaign, Massa not only went to the second round of the Argentine elections but also came in first place in the vote.
Whether this will be enough for Massa to defeat the ultra-liberal Javier Milei and become President of Argentina is something that voters will find out next Sunday (19), when the second round of voting takes place in the neighboring country.