The ceremonial of the verbal duel between the two Matteo of Italian politics, Renzi and Salvini, took place last night in the most liturgical of the Italian communication offices: that Porta a Porta by Bruno Vespa that went through all the political situations from the First Republic to today. The liturgy, subtly conducted by Vespa, with the support of two national press directors, Michele Brambilla of Quotidiano Nazionale and Maurizio Molinaridella Stampa (in the role of the two witnesses / godparents of the duel), has gone through in a standardized way all the phases of the comparison between the two most mediatic leaders that Italian politics has ever had: the presentation of the character sheets; the introduction of fairly open questions on issues capable of provoking a clash, rather than the dialogue between the two protagonists; a moderation of the speaking turns more attentive to the minutes than to the contents.
The “two Matteo” did not spare themselves at the show, following the media logic of an event that has more media than political repercussions. Noteworthy communication slashes were launched, certainly not reusable in any other context of Italian public life (only the superimposed text “The public at home is invited not to use this language in business meetings, at the condominium assembly or in discussions about parking “).
Renzi accused Salvini of “having launched diktat from Papeete”; to “have an asbestos stomach after having shown himself to eat in all the festivals in Italy, even if he were not an exponent of a pro loco”; “Not to consider the political confrontation as Instagram, here there are people who have studied and respond!” and to “be a simpleton of seaside sovereignty”. For his part, Salvini launched Renzi verbal slashes such as: “You are a misunderstood genius, the Italians have not understood you and you have a 4% party”, “But you have water or alcohol in the glass in front of you
“, “We are different, you you are the man of the past, I the man of the future “. A full blown fight, so
In reality, politically, the underlying feeling is that of being in front of a wrestling match (in the mud
), as spectacular as it is false in substance, rather than a duel with rules and an outcome.
The two Matthew are united by the substantial lack of self-criticism – a real resource in politics to avoid committing the mistakes made in the past again – and by a dialectic that is, after all, specular. In the latter context, Salvini demonstrates that he knows better the mass psychology of the electorate, when he proposes arguments and arguments that are more basic than simplified (“I bring results, data, facts” underlined with the snap of the fingers of one hand). Renzi, for his part, shows a better rhetoric in the presentation of the themes – with some even lyrical hints on the subject of boats at sea – and a stronger capacity for involvement, as a true scout leader who must be followed up to the destination of the excursion) ; however, he chooses areas and themes less effectively (one hundred quota, emergency landings, the vision of Europe) to break through Italian public opinion. In short, if Salvini has frequented the electoral base of Italians on holiday for festivals too much, Renzi seems to have spent too much time in the waiting rooms of international airports while on his way to global conferences; one would almost be advised to reverse their roles, to increase their knowledge of the voting belly of the country (Renzi) and of the complex system of rules and precepts for the leadership of a G20 state (Salvini).
Only on one theme the two Matteo seem to find a common position: the almost psychological distance (very badly disguised by the government Matteo) for the figure of Conte, who, while the two leaders of Lega and Italia Viva were broadcast on Rai1, he led the longest and most complex Council of Ministers of the year, that of the budget maneuver. The beginning of a different political action, and certainly also a decisive tool for launching a new and different communication agenda for the coming months.

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