Cristina’s Tardiness Defended

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In an op-ed in the New York Times, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s lateness to the Group of 20 Summit photograph was defended.  The original article, titled “As Leaders Wrestle With Economy, Developing Nations Get Ringside Seats,”  accounted for the discussions between developing nations, such as Brazil and Argentina, and more developed, such China, France and the United States.  The goal of the meeting was to quell concerns as to how the global financial crisis would trickle down; or how the “toxic economies” of the first world would spread.  The course of the article was tongue in cheek, with the reporter not only commenting on the lack of reputation of the two female leaders, but also mentioned, “Mrs. Kirchner did little to enhance her reputation for competence when she showed up late for the official photograph on Saturday. She missed the first picture, but the leaders regrouped and took another after she arrived. Mr. Bush, who prides himself on punctuality, just shrugged.”

Luis F. Brunstein, an assistant professor of economics at Rowan University, quickly went on the defensive, writing to editors, “I take exception to the insinuation that the president of one of the more progressive countries in the Western Hemisphere and one of the most effective leaders in South America is not as competent because she arrived late for a picture-taking session.  Because Mr. Bush was punctual, does that make him competent?”

While punctuality and photographs are polarizing topics, one wonders if this reporter was missing the point of the meeting, or just not informed about Argentine culture.

One Comment

jblaha on November 25, 08


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