The sense of Rome for Giorgia Meloni would be a good title for the short novel whose last page will be written on Monday at 3 pm, when the polls are closed in the capital. The leader of the Brothers of Italy stands a bit proudly and a bit obtorto neck in the corner. He denounces a conventio ad excludendum against him and his party, he feels proudly at the corner, accuses the return of the strategy of tension to fit it in the mesh of a returning neo-fascism on which he cannot completely distance himself for electoral convenience and because he knows that many of his people cultivate relationships and connections there.
If there is a political significance in the elections in Rome – as well as the near future of the city government, of course – it is what concerns the leader of the Italian right. His worst champion could not go. Enrico Michetti stumbled upon the Shoah, on conspiracy, on the hygienic Roman salute, on chariots, centurions and gladiators obsessively becoming the benchmark of the city he imagines. A series of tumbles in sequence from which he came out more than bruised, and which reveals a certain optimism in the opponent’s field. When he blew the last of a long series of comparisons, which among other things was played at home, organized by a center-right foundation, the case reached Meloni’s ear by phone call. They say that she would have blurted out: “I’m tired of being Michetti’s secretary”.
Matteo Salvini has understood the hint and has started to turn off. A press conference with candidate and leader friends in the middle of the week, then off to the north to fight for Varese and Trieste, so as not to put his face on the possible defeat: that, for a while, the whole League, is a Meloni business . They wanted to express the candidate at all costs, they daringly selected the expert in administrative law famous in the city for the podium that he won on Radio Radio, one of the most followed broadcasters in the city and which for a couple of years has filled the schedules with no-vax and conspiracy theses.
The Carroccio in the city has dropped to 6%, the grip on the city has vanished, the competition with a much more rooted ally inside the Great Ring Road is impossible. With Forza Italia becoming what it has become, it was Meloni and his entire party who had to shoulder Michetti in an attempt to hoist him up to the Capitol, in what could be the battle that will direct the future of Fdi.
A victory for Michetti would mean going out of the corner, demonstrating that the party that has the flame in the symbol is not simply the refuge of the right-right, not simply the pole of attraction for those who do not recognize themselves in the Draghi experience, not just the noisy tribune from which to scream your skepticism about the green pass and the alleged health dictatorship. Demonstrate what the opponents are trying to dismantle, that is, that Fratelli d’Italia is a party that has all the credentials to govern, as should be normal for the first Italian party in the polls. But above all it is the main way to overturn the balance of power in the center-right, a victory of a coalition very much in name and little in fact, which would raise Meloni as leader of a new phase after the luster of Salvinian hegemony, a heritage to invest in the next elections for the President of the Republic, in the choice of candidates for future administrative sessions, in the architecture of the alchemy of the political elections to come. Michetti, however, could be a misfortune in the medium term, following the never regretted footsteps of the first right-wing champion to take Rome, that Gianni Alemanno who in the city is remembered as a snowplow, for the scandal of the subsidiaries and little else. But in the end these are things that have little reverberation beyond the Junction, in the immediate future it would be a decisive victory, alone against everyone, they are the driving force of other and much more relevant conquests.
Losing would have an equal and opposite effect. A candidate imposed, defended, endured and finally crashed, the demonstration of an impalpable if not non-existent ruling class, a botched selection of candidates and programs to govern, a slap in the face after starting with a non-negligible margin of advantage accumulated in the first round. And it would be a debacle that is difficult to share with the coalition partners, who are ready to present the bill. One to reclaim once and for all the leadership of that political area, the other to try to balance the sovereign traction of the center-right and bring it back to a moderate and liberal riverbed, whatever this term means by now on the part of Forza Italy. In short, Rome is the testing ground to understand if Giorgia Meloni and her parents are really “unfit to lead”, as they said about someone else before her.