“I have always been a discreet person. I believe a lot in discretion and prudence.” Iván Redondo (San Sebastián, 1981), until this Saturday the almighty Chief of Staff of the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, who will be replaced by Óscar López, described himself with those words in an interview that the former vice president of the Government and then leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, in his program Another turn of the screw, in 2016.
The president of the Senate, Pilar Llop, will be the new Minister of Justice
Discretion and prudence were the premises with which Redondo came to Sánchez’s life, at the end of 2017, eight months before the motion of censure that led them both to Moncloa. To the leader of the PSOE, as Prime Minister and, to the strategist, as almighty chief of staff that in the last two years has been accumulating weight and to which some of the main decisions of the Executive have been attributed and, above all, all the communication work.
Discretion and prudence have also marked his entire career at the head of the cabinet of the Presidency of the Government, always next to Sánchez but trying to stay in the background, although he has been the one who has built the president’s story in recent years . According to different sources, Redondo’s good relationship with Iglesias was decisive in the success of the agreement to form a government reached by PSOE and United We Can in 2020. And that was when Sánchez turned his chief of staff into a sort of ‘minister 23’ of its Executive.
At 38 years old, Redondo added the powers of the previous mandate, that of the legislature of the motion of censure – secretary of the National Security Council and director of the Steering Committee, the general secretary of the Presidency, the General Directorate of Economic Affairs, the Department of National Security and the different analysis units – to new functions in communication management and the task of creating a “National Office for Prospective and Long-Term Country Strategy”.
He worked in the Basque PP and in Extremadura
There were some voices in the PSOE that did not see his signing well, in 2018, because the socialist leader decided to dispense with the services of Juanma Serrano as chief of staff – his destiny was the presidency of the Post Office – to replace him with the spin doctor Basque, a staunch realist, a fan of the Royal Society, and of the Tamborrada de Donostia, the city where he was born 40 years ago.
Much of the criticism came because Redondo was the strategist of José Antonio Monago against the socialist Guillermo Fernández Vara in Extremadura and, in fact, he was part of the Executive of the PP with the rank of counselor. His first contact with politics took place in the PP in his hometown. He would be linked to that same party for years from the end of the 2000s to 2015. He advised the former president of the Basque PP Antonio Basagoiti during and after the 2009 electoral campaign. And, in addition to contributing to the Presidency of the Board of Extremadura to José Antonio Monago, of whom he was Chief of Staff between 2011 and 2015, also advised the then and now mayor of Badalona, the controversial Xavier García Albiol.
His signing as a consultant in Ferraz was recognized in September 2017, when Sánchez was already in charge of the general secretariat again. With Basagoiti, the campaign piloted by Redondo received a prize of the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC). Boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 15 appeared in the winning television ad with the slogan “I want to be a Lehendakari” and ended with the message “Believe in politics again.” As for the award-winning print advertisement, it consisted of a child photograph of the PP candidate with the slogan “Hello, I am Antonio Basagoiti and I want to be a Lehendakari.” It was something groundbreaking for the time.
Author of the success of Illa in Catalunya
The campaign that promoted Monago to the presidency of Extremadura after decades of socialism was also new. A strategy was chosen that put at the center the figure of the one who would become the head of the regional Executive and not so much the party, which has never reached its depth in a community where the PSOE has a determining force. Once appointed Chief of Staff, there he came to be called “the eighth counselor” because he was assigned “the rank of counselor”, and he sat in the meetings of the Governing Council.
He changed the image of the popular Extremadura towards a more folksy and close, with a Monago showing off his former status as a firefighter, with his helmet on over his knees. And his work then generated a strong rejection in the PSOE that was in opposition. But the entire political scene recognizes his recent great work in Catalonia during the February campaign. His strategy made it possible for the former Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, to win the elections. The candidate himself thanked him personally and publicly for his work as soon as the results were known, on election night.
Redondo is considered a “renovator” who introduced “pop politics” at political rallies, with live group performances or screenings. Graduated in Humanities and Communication at the University of Deusto, specialized in Economic Information at the Complutense de Madrid, he has been carrying out the task of Chief of Staff for years, first in the Office of the Presidency of the National Nursing Union (SATSE), then at the prestigious Llorente & Cuenca agency and, later, at his own consulting firm Redondo & Asociados Public Affairs Firm.
His departure from the Government, decided by Sánchez within the framework of the Government crisis this Saturday, implies the intention of the Chief Executive to overturn his communication strategy at a time when the PSOE is not accompanied by several polls that point to since the PP would be the first force if the generals were held now. Sánchez has already said that he plans to exhaust the legislature and to try to turn the polls around he uses a pure breed of socialism, the former secretary of Organization of the party, Óscar López, a personal friend of the President of the Government who until now was at the helm. command of Paradores.