This is the place where extravaganza is the norm and more is more. If a political event cannot be described as flamboyant or extraordinaire it shall not be featured here. Argentina never falls short and I know it will continue to provide me with spectacular material.
Now get ready to be shocked and amused. To be incredulous, skeptic, even disgusted and shocked again.
I give you Over The Top.
And what could be a better occasion to cut the ribbon and than the President’s cockeyed come back?
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is the ultimate provocateur. Whether it’s worship or hatred, no one else works the extremes as the Señora Presidenta. While we were expecting her to announced her return on Cadena Nacional – because nothing says I’m omnipresent as the national broadcast – Cristina, who has become an expert in social networks, surprised us all by posting a homemade video.
Here, rejoice or writhe depending on your political leanings:
Hola a todos y todas… http://t.co/P8BdRR4WP4
— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) November 18, 2013
This video was Over The Top material from beginning to end. She’s wearing a white shirt and she’s all smiles and joyous countenance. Her daughter Florencia Kirchner directs, of course.
There isn’t a middle aged woman in this country who hasn’t uttered at this point: “She probably got a face-lift!”
She introduces us to her latest friends, a stuffed penguin and Simón, a Bolivarian puppy. Six and a half minutes of sheer joy (or piercing agony, depending on where you are on the political spectrum,) but the astonishment was universal. The video was cute and disturbing at the same time. Something not easy to achieve.
But what happened after the video? Some changes in the cabinet left the country gasping in awe.
Let’s sum them up:
- Who gets a gold star?
Axel Kicillof former Deputy Economy Minister was appointed as Economy Minister and Chaco Governor Jorge Capitanich as new Cabinet Chief (or Chief of Staff,) which makes both La Cámpora and the Peronists happy. They were the big winners after Cristina’s return.
- Who got bitch slapped?
Hernán Lorenzino fulfilled his subconscious desire and he’s now actually leaving, although he wasn’t tossed out into the street. He will be Argentina’s Ambassador to the European Union and he also will be in charge of the holdouts negotiation. I’m guessing he’s quite content.
Juan Manuel Abal Medina was removed from his post as Cabinet Chief after a grey performance and as consolation prize he was offered the Chilean Embassy.
- Who got the boot?
Mercedes Marcó del Pont got sacked and her post as governor of the Central Bank goes to Carlos Fábrega. The Central Bank’s foreign currency reserves have been hemorrhaging money and something must be done. So time to replace the captain.
- Who got buried in oblivion?
The governor of the Buenos Aires Province and Cristina’s personal doormat Daniel Osvaldo Scioli lost to Capitanich as the apparent heir of the Kirchnerite movement. He might as well find Massa and take a photo with him just like Insaurralde did. In her enduring video, the President sent him a message that was loud and clear: I already have a dog, Danny boy and it’s a Venezuelan Mucuchíes, not a Dogo Argentino. Get a life.
The governor of Entre Ríos Sergio Urribarri also looks defeated and after Capitanich appointment he’s likely to retreat and wait to see how the next two years treat the brand new Cabinet Chief.
Most dramatic “Off with his head!” moment:
Domestic Trade Secretary Guillermo Moreno’s resignation. Although if you’d ask me, his appointment as economic attache to the Argentine Embassy in Italy will protect him from many lawsuits to come and he was not as scary as he used to be, which makes him kind of useless at this juncture.
All in all, a totally Over The Top couple of days!