I have the greatest respect for Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. For the teacher, for the politician, for the communicator, and recently for the President of the Republic. I have often praised the important role he has played since he arrived in the Belém Palace. During the tragedy of the fire in 2017, in the case of the attack on Tanco and the way he has exercised his administration of influence with the government, the assembly Republic and the country.
I have never joined those who criticize him for the more popular style – or popular, as it may be. On the contrary. I think he realized early on that the country needed another president in content, but above all in shape. And no one better than Marcelo to interpret and know how to balance in this limbo of politics, which can both shoot to overwhelming levels of popularity that can make ridicule and discredit.
The popularity has also been the most important political weapon of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. She has given him, until now, the credit she needed to "burn" a live television minister. Forcing the government to do what it did not want. To avoid greater evil in the manifestation of yellow jackets in Portugal. This is just a few examples.
I admit that the president's omnipresent first gets strange, then he gets involved. But the truth is that this strategy for the President of the Republic has provided positive results for the country and, of course, for him as well. Aristotle said the main function of politics was to serve the interests of citizens and Marcelo – but not always flawlessly – to do so.
But there is one side of the superstar – which your TV series have stated – which I confess, makes me a little confused. Not because Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has no right to cultivate it. But because the President of the Republic also has an institutional role that is lost every time it trivializes it.
The call to Cristina Ferreira's show this week is far from unheard of. In February 2017, Marcelo had already picked up the phone to congratulate the director of Commercial Radio, live. Fatima Lopes thanked her, also in direct conversation, which was received after the divorce. The difference, this time, is the context, and that is why I decided to write this text. The conversation with Cristina Ferreira comes after the competing program – presented by Manuel Luís Goucha – has taken to the study a fascist criminal named Mário Machado and provokes with it a controversy of the good, who gives the audience. Talk well or talk badly, but speak up. And above all, see.
By taking the initiative to call Cristina Ferreira to wish him the best of luck in the new program, the President of the Republic not only raised this hearing, but also allowed conclusions – perhaps mistakenly – that the highest magistrate in the nation would indirectly address the invitation TVI made to Mário Machado.
However, Marcelo came to explain that he wanted to compensate SIC host for not giving him an interview, as he had done with Manuel Luís Goucha a few weeks ago. But the explanation in itself is proof that he should not have done so. It is primarily the demonstration that many people do not understand how a President of the Republic lends itself to this role. Secondly, because the country and the president have much more important issues to worry about than wasting time explaining phone calls to entertainment programs. And finally, because Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa can and will do the conversations he wants, congratulate, good luck, merry Christmas or happiness to anyone who wants nobody to have anything to do with it. But when he chooses not to make it private, but directly, it is the President of the Republic who does. As much as it gained him popularity, it was not necessary.
I confess that I cannot avoid any sense of shame that is not alien, or it was not Marcelo as president of all Portuguese.