The Popular Party is a two-speed party. Like everyone else, he must dedicate himself to daily work, in his case to make opposition, and also prepare for the elections at the end of the legislature. There is still for that, but Pablo Casado has given the game a frantic pace, as if everything were going to happen next week. And when you go with your tongue sticking out and you don’t know if you’ve tied your shoelaces or don’t even know if you’re wearing shoes, it’s not uncommon for you to end up tripping and hitting the ground. Nor has he gotten rid of that in this week’s convention, organized with great care so that it fulfills the objective of reinforcing the figure of Casado.
The casting of the convention is not very different from that of other appointments of the PP. He needed some impact figures, talked about in previous weeks, and not many came to the call. At least it had Nicolas Sarkozy, who is already quite retired, but at least he was president of France. When they shared the stage on Wednesday in Madrid, Casado even launched into a few words in French because of how happy he was. And it turns out that the next day reality arrives in the form of a sentence from a French court and knocks you to the ground. Sarkozy was again convicted of corruption. The second time this year. It’s not that they weren’t warned.
He had to put on a face of circumstances and invent some explanation on the day of the convention that was held on Thursday in Seville. PP sources, of whom they speak with Casado almost every day, explained to some journalists that it was not so bad, although it did not look pretty. First, they tried the old trick of asking what about the others. They said that François Hollande, another French president, has been invited to socialist conclaves and was also convicted at the time. The information was false. Hollande was never tried and convicted.
Since that didn’t quite work, they admitted that someone like Sarkozy “is more controversial than Donald Tusk.” In the end, they only had to say that in any family there are members that are a bit debatable, but whom you cannot stop inviting to Christmas dinner.
What happens is that you do not tell your relatives to take an example of him, as Casado did, fascinated by Sarkozy’s brilliance.
The former French president has been convicted in the first instance for having exceeded legal funding limits in the 2012 campaign in which he was defeated. The maximum amount in the two electoral rounds was 22.5 million euros. The Prosecutor’s Office estimated the real budget of Sarkozy’s campaign at 42 million.
The same happened with the issue of the absence of women at the convention. One of the contestants got off the script on Wednesday and wondered where they were. Not on stage. “There are fewer female representatives at this convention than on any IBEX board of directors!” Said Paula Gómez de la Bárcena, referring to those centers of economic power where you need to hire a private detective to find a woman. The banner of “liberal feminism”, which was one of the issues of the day, was somewhat lackluster.
The next day, Casado tried to evade responsibility. “We invite organizations, not people,” he said when he entered the palace where the conference was taking place. So it was someone else’s fault. He specifically referred to business organizations as they are run by men.
The payroll of the day in Seville left him in evidence. Seventeen participants: fifteen men and two women, one of them a PP deputy who moderated a debate. Neither represented a business organization. The great meeting of the PP “with civil society”, as it was sold, is fundamentally with the male part of that society.
Around the convention, the unknown of what will happen with the PP congress that should already be preparing, according to the party statutes. Is the convention an additive so that it has a certain congress flavor without its drawbacks? The sources of the PP consulted sweated theirs to explain the scant interest of Casado. What is deduced from his words is that Genoa does not want to celebrate it before the next elections. It reveals a certain vulnerability in Casado, who does not feel strong enough to summon him.
How to disprove that idea? Assuming that the legislature will not last two more years, because Pedro Sánchez will call elections before. Therefore, it would not make sense now to focus efforts on the congress to be organized. And how do they know that Sánchez will close the legislature earlier? Because he is afraid. Pablo Casado? No, to Yolanda Díaz. The future candidate of United We Can to the presidency – if the egos allow it, to use his own expression – “it will be an electoral phenomenon of the first magnitude”, said the sources of the PP.
It was a singular moment. One does not see every day an important name of the PP praising the vice president in this way, who shakes the number two of her party in such an effective way in the control sessions of Congress. If Yolanda Díaz is going to be a phenomenon, the one who is already suffering it in her flesh is Teodoro García Egea.
Whatever the reason, there is no color in terms of unwavering adhesions. For that, conventions are the best. The Seville appointment was important to place Casado on the same stage with José María Aznar, his political godfather. There they took care of the image with both walking through the gardens of Villa Luisa and giving enough time to photographers and television cameras to do their work. Then on stage he played an overdose of Aznarism with Casado praising Aznar with the same intensity with which a groupie he threw himself into the arms of Mick Jagger in the seventies. With his usual grim gesture and a different hair color, the former president awarded the parish his usual great successes with a more recent theme.
In style, with unusual fury. Aznar likes to speak without raising his voice too much, that you have to pay attention to hear what he says. This time, some phrases were shouted at him as if he were at a rally.
The great novelty was to answer without citing Pope Francis, whom Isabel Díaz Ayuso pointed out this week from New York for the grave sin of practicing the Christian virtue of repentance. Aznar also considers it a heresy: “At this time when forgiveness is asked for everything, I am not going to join the ranks of those who ask for forgiveness. Whoever says it says so,” said Aznar so that there would be no doubt about the recipient of his anger. He immediately subscribed to Díaz Ayuso’s comment, who had compared indigenism to communism. Of which he also said that “he can only go against Spain.”
With that, Casado was already elated. Whenever something goes wrong, he just has to spend a few minutes near Aznar. It is worth to charge the batteries and run to wherever. Although it is not clear what the destination is.