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What Does the Kirchner Election Portend?

FOX News Special Report With Brit Hume


CHRISTINA FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER, ARGENTINE PRESIDENT-ELECT: I feel I have a double responsibility, not only as a member of a particular party tendency, which conducts the destiny of the country, but, also, I know I have a tremendous responsibility for my gender. I have a tremendous responsibility to my gender. Thank you.


HUME: And so this remarkable woman will take over as the leader of Argentina following her husband, who was, of course, and continues to be, at least for the moment, the leader of that country.

So what does this portend for Argentina, the hemisphere, U.S. relations, and does it tell us anything that might be instructive about our own politics? Mort?

KONDRACKE: I have long thought that there were parallels between Argentina and its politics and the United States.

For example, when the movie and musical "Evita" came out, and the song was "Would I have done what I did if I hadn't know that we would take the country?" I always thought that that applied to Hillary Clinton. Would she had done what she if she hadn't know that she would take the country?

Here we have a situation in Argentina where Christina Kirchner is succeeding her husband. He did not even finish he allotted eight years in office. He gave up his presidency for her. So there is even more of a deal between the Kirshners than there is between the Clintons.

Sally Bedell Smith, who has written this new book "For Love of Politics" about the Clintons in their White House confirms what we have all suspected, that there has been a plan where Bill Clinton would serve for eight years and then, eventually, Hillary Clinton would take over for eight years.

Well, the Argentine's have speeded up the process.

HUME: They've pulled it off.

EASTON: Obviously, if you are going to compare Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. De Kirchner --they both met their husbands in law school, they are both described by the press as controlling, they both embrace their husband's legacy on the economy, for example.

The difference, I think, is that Mrs. Kirchner is a populist speaking fashionista, and populist, at least, in her rhetoric, and Mrs. Clinton hates fashion--

HUME: Does she really?

EASTON: Going way back, yes. She does it because she has to, but that is not her forte. But I think she is more of an incrementalist establishment type.

But this question of their relationships to their husbands, if we had a president Clinton, the differences is that Mrs. Kirchner can embrace the economic legacy, again, of her husband. Mrs. Clinton has to embrace it only to a point.

You also have to worry about what would be his role in the White House? What would be his behavior in the White House? Would it cause a potentially dangerous distraction or embarrassment to her?

KRAUTHAMMER: The idea of a wife inheriting the presidency always had a smack of a banana republic, even though Argentina produces beef and not bananas. But the classic case is Evita, who was never officially the president, but wielded an enormous amount of power.

And then the third wife of Juan Peron, Isabel, who was a cabaret dancer whom he met in a Panamanian nightclub, picked up, brought her home, and she became president after him, and one of the most disastrous in the history of Argentina.

So we, as Americans, even though we love for royalty and worship the Kennedys, have never embraced dynastic politics, with the exception of George Bush, but I think people are tired of it.

But I think the real issue is do you want a couple running the country? And I think that is going to trouble America, and we're going to see it play out in Argentina.

HUME: Do you think we have now reached a point where this issue of the co-presidency has been put in play that where Senator Clinton is going to have to say something about this, about what his role will be?

KRAUTHAMMER: Yes. She is a formidable and accomplished woman, like Kirchner, but we have never had an ex-president moving into the White House after his term and wielding the power he will. She has to answer that.

For more visit the FOX News Special Report web page.

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