To say that the 2016 US presidential Race has been controversial would be an understatement. Everyone from Kanye West to Vladimir Putin has staked a claim in one camp or the other and now the official party votes are in: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be the next US president. Nothing new or shocking, but historically significant all the same, with Hillary Clinton being the first woman to be selected as a presidential candidate by any major US political party, and Donald Trump being the first Kardashian. (The hair extensions and over-contouring are a dead giveaway as to Trump’s true lineage).
As various Argentine outlets have written today, one person who’s been borderline neutral about his pick in the
Hunger Games presidential race is President Mauricio Macri. Back in March, Macri made a very rare comment on the subject to website MDZ, saying, “It’s very difficult to know. In the past, the Republican Party has given more space to Latin America. But if we look at recent history, with the complications there are, the wars and terrorism, their relations no longer come close to those of Latin America. The Democratic Party is now much closely aligned.”
Sooooooo Clinton or Trump? According to Clarín, while the “heart” of Argentine politics as a whole are more closely aligned with the Democratic Party (we can interpret this as referring to the country’s Peronist past and more socialist leanings), it would appear that the Macri administration wants to maintain connections with both the Democrats and Republicans. In fact, last week the Argentine Ambassador to the US Martín Lousteau was at the Republican Convention, and yesterday in Philadelphia, for the historical nomination of Hillary Clinton. There he was joined by National Deputy and Renewal Front (FR) leaders Sergio Massa, a key politician in the Macri age.
However, despite this supposedly neutral stance, Clarin posits that Macri does seem more aligned with Clinton. If she were to win the elections in November, the friendly tone set by President Barack Obama’s visit to Argentina in March would continue. That visit was largely set by existing relations between the US Ambassador to Argentina, Noah Mamet, and Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra and US Secretary Of State John Kerry.
There’s also a larger connection between Macri and Clinton: Prior to his presidency, he took part in meetings of the Cities known as Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) which is heavily funded by the Clinton Foundation, and in 2014, traveled to New York at the invitation of Jack Rosen, president of the American Jewish Committee at a dinner honoring Clinton. Rosen is an old friend of Clinton and attended Macri’s inauguration.
His connection to Trump? It dates back over two decades, when the Socma Group headed by Macri’s father tried to get into the Real Estate Business in New York, where they met with Trump and his then-wife, Ivana. The Don and Ivana would later enjoy a visit to Argentina at the invitation of the Macris.
Whether that connection will still resonate through today remains to be seen.