Cristina – Argentina’s Hillary

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[youtube:] Argentina has a Hillary and her name is Cristina. And she is everywhere. Cristina is the heavily mascara-ed senator and wife of President Kirchner. Elections are almost upon us and there seems to be no real opposition to the incumbent couple. Though many Argentines express disapproval of the current government – especially in light of recent inflation – it seems there will be no changing of the guard. From talk shows to subway billboards, Cristina is watching you.

christinakirchner.jpg “Since when did we get on first name basis with everyone?” A friend from Italy posed this question to me over lunch. My response was to blame celebrity gossip magazines with “Brangelina” and “J-Lo” titles having proliferated and bled into the mainstream. The sensation of being on a first name basis with a celebrity works for the tabloids. It’s a fetching ploy, but do we want to be similarly duped when it comes to our world leaders?

The US has Dubbya (he’s not even a complete first name – could be tricky for his people to spell) and it seems Argentina may soon have President ‘Tina the Pinguina. So we can give thanks to the Perez Hiltons of the world for making us so cozy with our celebrated politicians.

cimg0709.jpgcimg0699.jpgcimg0702.jpg In Argentina there may not be a real presidential race but the people have their own platform on the streets of Buenos Aires. I ran into an entertaining street protest by employees of the Ministry of Justice downtown yesterday. They were protesting wages and there were drums, fireworks and lady justice in a blindfold. The fireworks were particularly unnerving though passersby seemed to take it all in stride.

evita.jpgThose who work downtown are likely ready for whatever action ensues leading up to the election. This could be a return to tradition – to the Argentina of the 1950’s when the country was seeped in its initial Peronism (the Kirchners’ own ism). At that time, the people were completely behind the wife of the president and on a first name basis with her. Hmm, think I see a pattern here.


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