Feature

A first lady becomes president

The election victory of Argentina

What happenedThe election victory of Argentina’s first lady, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, was confirmed by near-final results on Monday, setting her up to become the South American country’s first elected female chief of state. The president-elect sailed to an easy victory thanks to the success of the economic policies of her husband, President Nestor Kirchner, in sparking a recovery after a financial meltdown. But rising inflation and a looming energy crisis are raising the prospect of problems ahead. “The president-elect won't have a honeymoon," Fernando Gonzalez wrote in the daily Clarin.

What the columnists saidAmericans should watch what happens next, said Roberto Guareschi in The Miami Herald (free registration). Argentina is launching “a political experiment” that might catch on—that of “ruling couples.” The Kirchners aren’t exactly global power brokers, but they’ve taken on “an aura of importance” because their electoral success precedes “by a year the power duo that the Clintons may form in the United States.”

Congratulations are in order, said the Buenos Aires Herald in an editorial, but let’s not get carried away. Senator Kirchner’s victory was the “weakest win of any direct victory since 1983.” And the “modesty” of her mandate won’t be the president-elect’s only challenge. She didn’t offer “a road map for the next four years” during the campaign or in her victory speech. Oh, well. Maybe she’ll say something at her inauguration.

The new government will face challenges, said Mark Weisbrot in the Los Angeles Times (free registration), “but these problems are manageable.” When Argentina defaulted on $100 billion in debt in 2001, economists everywhere predicted disaster. Instead, the Argentine economy grew by 8.5 percent a year—more than twice the average for Latin America. It just goes to show what you can do when you pay attention to a country’s needs, instead of “the conventional wisdom of the economics profession” and “powerful international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund.”

Recommended

The Week contest: Booze rescue
Cans.
Feature

The Week contest: Booze rescue

Great Britain has its 1st Catholic prime minister. Surprise!
Boris Johnson, Carrie Symonds
Things that make you go hmmmmm...

Great Britain has its 1st Catholic prime minister. Surprise!

Biden suspends Trump's 25 percent tariff on Scotch whisky
Scotch
Slàinte mhath

Biden suspends Trump's 25 percent tariff on Scotch whisky

Almost all operations shut down as COVID-19 outbreak hits U.S. Embassy in Kabul
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
coronavirus crisis

Almost all operations shut down as COVID-19 outbreak hits U.S. Embassy in Kabul

Most Popular

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem
Political Cartoon.
Feature

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now
Bernie Sanders.
Sounds dope

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now

Georgia election workers reportedly received a 'torrent' of threats
Trump rally.
The big lie

Georgia election workers reportedly received a 'torrent' of threats