Madame President and the First Gentleman
[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.