Senator Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to be President of Argentina

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Senator Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner became Argentina’s President-elect on Sunday, sailing past 14 other candidates with 40% of the popular vote – nearly twice as much as her closest rival.

The Senator is, well, a Senator. But she’s been headlined for the most part as the wife of Argentina’s current President Nestor Kirchner. NPR went with “Argentina’s First Lady Poised for Presidency.” Reuters wrote  “Argentina’s First Lady Wins Top Job.” Relationships with powerful and positioned men may be  an unfortunate pre-requisite for many women seeking high political office, but without discusing as much (beyond the obvious Clinton comparison), NPR and Reuters themselves simply reinforced the  “First Lady’s” status as secondary to that of her husband.

NPR didn’t stop there. They went on to describe President-elect Fernandez as a:  

54-year-old lawyer, with a penchant for designer clothes . . . In a political culture dominated by men in grey suits, Cristina’s flowing auburn hair drapes over an impeccably tailored white suit. In her raspy voice, the diminutive wife of the president . . . delivers impassioned pledges to continue the renovation of Argentina.

They might have mentioned that President-elect Fernandez joins seven other Presidents and four Prime Minsters who also happen to be women. But then there’d  be less room to talk about her hair.

-Kathleen A. Bergin

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