Friday, March 9, 2007

Look, we made the paper!

Whenever Argentina appears in the New York Times, it becomes a news item in at least the online edition of Argentina's largest daily, Clarín.

Can you imagine if the situation were reversed? If any major U.S. newspaper had as a headline "U.S. makes front page of foreign nation's paper"?

As usual, Larry Rohter's conclusions ring true. There's a good chance the next president will be the current president's wife, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

Cristina Kirchner is often compared to Hillary Clinton. In fact, the comparison is almost a slight to Cristina since she already had a slice of the limelight when her husband was elected president in 2003. She was a national senator. He was the little known governor of the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz.

The election that brought Néstor Kirchner to power in 2003 was singular. He won just 22% of the vote and was headed for a run-off. But when his run-off opponent, former president Carlos Menem, dropped out of the race, Kirchner won by default.

Rohter's article touches on something I've already harped on:

In 2003, Néstor Kirchner was handed an economy that could hardly have gone anywhere but up. Four years on, all the easy work has been done.

What do the next four years hold for this country, and for whoever is elected president? A deep and pervasive lack of trust and confidence combined with fresh memories of the 2001-02 crisis mean there is precious little margin for error in guiding the economy. A few false moves and before you know it, things have spiraled out of control. Again.

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