It is not great news that Walter Veltroni is a big time Obama Fan. Nor it is shocking to say that the Democratic party was named after the American one. It is at least peculiar though that, with the election of Barack Obama in the Us, the Italian Democratic Party seems to have found its new leader, or at least a model to follow.
Actually, having a model to follow wouldn’t be so strange, even for a political party. The problem is that Uòlter (Walter Veltroni’s new nickname is associated with the sound of his first name as if it was pronounced by an American) seems convinced that the new President of the US is a member of his party.
“Berlusconi is joking about our enthusiasm and claims: ‘it seems like Obama is a PD’s man?’ – said Veltroni in an interview with La Repubblica, yesterday – well, he’s wrong cause he doesn’t seem, he is really one of us”.
“I spent my entire life dreaming about having a party in Italy with the same name [of the American one], continued Veltroni”. Nevermind the fact that he began his career as a politician at the FGCI (Italian Federation of the Communist Youth) and – shortly afterwards – was named Regional Advisor for the PCI (Partito Comunista Italiano).
Uòlter also thinks that “by choosing an afro-American President the Americans are looking forward” and that the election of Obama is a “lesson to the Italian politics…the Italian right looks more like Sarah Palin than John McCain” [?].
So, Walter Veltroni seems convinced that Barack Obama’s victory can be perceived as a victory of the Italian left, in other words – according to the “Veltronian Transatlantic Theory”, Democrats = Democratici.
In fact, the Italian Democrats spent the night of November 4 monitoring American exit polls at the “Tempio di Adriano”, a few steps away from the Pantheon. Piero Fassino (former trade union’s leader), Massimo D’Alema and Walter Veltroni, were among the other PD’s politicians waiting for “the change” to happen.
The next morning you could have seen Obama’s face smiling from the walls everywhere in the Eternal City, the PD covered Roman walls with the posters of its new leader.
Another former Major of Rome, Francesco Rutelli, does not agree with the PD’s leader: “Obama’s victory is the one of the American Democratic Party, not the Italian one” said Rutelli to La Stampa. Even though Rutelli wasn’t partying like Veltroni was the other day, he still thinks that the election of Obama means a lot for the Italian left. “This victory fulfills the third and last condition the PD needed in order to start from scratch”. The first condition being the end of the “honeymoon with the Italians” of Berlusconi’s new government. The PD’s health report – second condition – was made at the Circus Maximum two weeks ago, they say that almost 500 thousand people gathered there, to protest against Berlusconi. The third condition for the PD to be considered “alive” (after the catastrophic defeat at against the PDL in April), was, of course, Obama’s victory.
Not every single politician in Italy was enthusiastic about Obama’s victory. Maurizio Gasparri (President of PDL’s Senators) said that “al-Qaeda will be much happier now”, his comment sparked a discussion at the Senate and Anna Finocchiaro (President of the PD’s Group) questioned the validity of Gasparri’s ideas.
Maybe al-Qaeda won’t add more comments to Obama’s election, but Hamas did. One of its mouthpieces said yesterday that the victory of the Democratic candidate it’s good news for its political movement, as long as he gets rid of his Jewish consultants.
We don’t know whether the tide of Obama’s victory will reach our coasts, but there is something we need to point out: his victory belongs to himself and to the Americans. Massimo “The Philosopher” Cacciari the Mayor of Venice and a very well know leftwing politician, agrees with us: “I hope that no one would be so pathetic to consider Obama’s victory as its own. I also hope some of our govern representatives will keep that residual sense of modesty and will not claim that they look like Barack Obama. Not even the Democratic Party as anything to do with Obama, maybe once its renewal will be complete, but certainly not now”.
“It doesn’t matter how much I hold in esteem Veltroni – continued Cacciari – but comparing him with such an historical event would be comical”.
Fabrizio Cicchito, spokesman of the PDL, has a very strong opinion about PD’s attempt to join in Obama’s victory: “the PD’s attempt to turn Obama’s victory in its favor was neutralized from within, at times even with mocking words. They were just trying to transform their defeats into victories, using someone else’s ability”. Give to Obama what belongs to Obama.
Andrea Loquenzi Holzer and Brittany Christine Toscano