Last week I reported on bad reporting about the Italian election. It appears that the polls were correct and that Ms. Giorgia Meloni, leader of the Brothers of Italy party, is well-positioned to be the next Prime Minister of Italy. But today’s post is not about the likely next Prime Minister, but instead about one of her likely coalition partners. We return to the Associated Press (syndicated in the Washington Times) for another Leaflet (but not to highlight bad reporting this time):
Just in time to celebrate his 86th birthday, former Italian premier Silvia Berlusconi is making his return to Italy’s parliament, winning a seat in the Senate nearly a decade after being banned from holding public office over a tax fraud conviction.
Welcome back! I read through the article to the end. Toward the end, I found this:
His 32-year-old girlfriend, Marta Fascina, also took a seat in the lower house of parliament, after winning the vote in the Sicilian constituency of Marsala, despite never showing up in the southern island during the campaign.
I laughed. Not because I was surprised that the 86-year old Mr. Berlusconi has a girlfriend 54 years his junior, but because this is perfectly on brand. When you have a brand, you have to maintain the brand. Mr. Berlusconi is a master of brand consistency.
(Only on a second look did I note that Ms. Fascina was elected to parliament without campaigning in person. Say what one will about whether she has any business representing an island for which the best connection she could muster was that she used to vacation there with her father, but considering how many U.S. Senators and Representatives live in Washington D.C. while living in their districts, it is nice to know that we have something very much in common with Italy.)