Patterico's Pontifications

10/27/2007

Madame President and the First Gentleman

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 8:28 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Can you name the popular President who served two terms but can’t serve another and who may be replaced by his wife the Senator?

It’s not Bill and Hillary. It’s Argentina’s President Kirchner and his wife, Senator Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner:

“She met her future husband while studying law and joined him as he rose from governor of a small state to the presidency. A powerful first lady and senator in her own right, she’s now campaigning hard to be the first woman elected president of her country. Hillary Rodham Clinton? Try Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentina’s first lady.

The wife of President Nestor Kirchner is the clear front-runner on the presidential ballot, favored to clobber 12 rivals in voting Oct. 28 and succeed her husband at the helm of South America’s second-largest economy.

And like Bill Clinton, who jokes about becoming “first laddie” someday, President Kirchner says he’s looking forward to becoming “first gentleman.” If the polls are right, Kirchner will place the presidential sash on his wife’s shoulders on Dec. 10, ending his four-year term and launching hers.
***
Like Bill and Hillary, the couple are said to consult each other on everything, especially political matters, and Kirchner is his wife’s cheerleader-in-chief, promising she’ll be an even better president than him. Like ex-President Clinton, Nestor Kirchner says he’s looking forward to life as a private citizen. Nobody seems to believe this — and none of his wife’s supporters seems to care.”

Like Hillary, Cristina has been criticized for her appearance:

“Dubbed “Queen Cristina” by many critics — and “the queen of Botox” by Carrio — Fernandez campaigned in gritty slums in designer clothes, and many joked that her frequent campaign trips abroad were focused more on shopping than politics.

Fernandez, speaking to a local radio station Thursday in one of her only campaign interviews, said such criticism reflects “a certain level of misogyny.” “Should I have to dress up as a poor person to be a good political leader?” she asked.”

Fernandez will be the first second woman President of Argentina if she is elected. The last poll before the October 28 election showed her leading by 30 percentage points with a projected 48% of the vote. She must win 45% of the vote to avoid a runoff.

Update: Thanks to commenter Peter Metcalfe for noting that Isabel Peron was the first woman President of Argentina.

— DRJ

10 Responses to “Madame President and the First Gentleman”

  1. Fernandez will be the first woman President of Argentina if she is elected.

    Isabel Peron, wife of Juan Peron, (mis)governed Argentina from 1974-76.

    Peter Metcalfe (8fbc48)

  2. You are *of course* correct, Peter Metcalfe. I remembered Eva but not Isabel, and that will teach me to trust the newspaper! I’ll note the correction above and thank you.

    DRJ (5c60fb)

  3. Argentina went from Juan Peron (term 3), to Isabel, to military dictatorship, to dirty war, to the Falklands. Hope this is a happier sequence.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  4. Why use non-citizens to set examples of corruption and nepotism that our homegrown politicians are unwilling to do? Maybe not as timely, but we can still draw from our own colorful history.
    See for yourself — no BoTox here.

    Miriam Amanda Wallace “Ma” Ferguson (June 13, 1875 – June 25, 1961) became the first female governor of Texas in 1925.[1] She was born in Bell County, Texas. Her husband, James Edward Ferguson, the governor from 1915 to 1917, was impeached, convicted, and removed from office during his second term. Under terms of the conviction, he was not allowed to hold state office again.[2]

    After her husband’s impeachment and conviction, she ran as a Democrat for the office herself. During the campaign she said she would follow the advice of her husband and that Texas would get “two governors for the price of one.“[3] Against what would have seemed insurmountable odds, another Ferguson was elected not only as governor, but the first woman governor of Texas.[4]

    ****

    During her first administration she averaged over 100 pardons a month, and accusations of both bribes and kickbacks overshadowed her term, resulting in unsuccessful attempts to impeach her.

    capitano (03e5ec)

  5. According to what I’ve read, Isabel Peron was appointed to the presidency — so that would make Sra. Fernandez de Kirchner the first elected woman president of Argentina.

    McGehee (25adee)

  6. Isabel? all this time I thought her name was Eva.
    “Evita”, right?

    kieth (deee5a)

  7. Kieth – I think Isabel was Juan Peron’s first wife. Eva was his second wife.

    By the way, the exit polls show Sen Fernandez has won without a runoff.

    DRJ (5c60fb)

  8. Eva was Peron’s second wife. She died while Peron was President the first time. After her death, Peron was eventually overthrown and went into exile. Twenty years later his part recaptured the Presidency and allowed Peron (and his new wife, Isabel) to return.

    The Peronist president then resigned and new elections were held, electing Juan Peron. Isabel (as elected Vice-President!) succeeded to office upon Peron’s death in 1975. She was overthrown within two years.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  9. I like “First Laddie” myself…

    mojo (8096f2)

  10. In the 19th Century, Argentina was considered to be an up-and-coming economic powerhouse, only to fall prey to the siren song of fascism in the 20th.
    Isn’t it strange, that the two richest Latin-American countries in terms of natural resources and energetic peoples (Argentina & Mexico) have ended up with the most corrupt social systems?

    Another Drew (8018ee)


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