These are the words of our new president Christina Fernandez de Kirchner. In an interview, Christina (as we call her here) does not want to be compared to anyone - including Hilary Clinton and Eva Peron. Formerly the first lady and now the President Elect (with 46% of the vote) Christina is constantly compared to both women. Of Hilary Clinton she says "Hillary and I have few things in common: We've both been senators, lawyers and wives of presidents, but not much else." All first ladies here tend to be compared to Evita.
This was my first real presidential election here. I was here when Nestor Kirchner was elected president. It was before I was officially living here. What impressed me most about the way a campaign is done here is the grass roots mentality. There are no million dollar ads blaring at you 2 years in advance. There are no TV ads period. No documercials heavily disguised as campaign ads.
Instead you have people on street corners talking to people. Lots of flyers. Lots of town council type meetings. It is a meet the people rather than blast the people approach. There are always the television analysts, the interviews. They are much less intrusive than in the U.S.
The other thing that was absent was dirty politics and mudslinging. The candidates talk about what they see as wrong. They talk about what they want to do. True it is done in Political-speak, but it is much more refreshing than someone digging up dirt on a relationship that might have happened 30 years ago.
It was generally agreed that Christina did not do as much campaigning as the others. She spent more time traveling to Europe to meet with heads of the governments there. Here she met with the business community, foreign investors. On one hand you could say that she was pretty much a shoo-in for president. She was getting a running start on her foreign policy. Others of course pointed to her as a "special interest" candidate.
What I found most interesting is the attitude of the people I talked to about voting. People were always interested in who I would vote for if I could vote. I cannot vote in presidential elections. I will be able to vote in local elections once my visa is permanent.
I am not sure who I would have voted for. I like Christina. I think she is strong in her own right. She is a very smart woman. She is not afraid to speak her mind. Many think she will be similar to her husband but more conciliatory. He tends to govern with an iron fist, she tends to be more team oriented.
I also liked Roberto Lavagna. He is credited with turning around the economic policies of Argentina. He has been most often compared to Alan Greenspan. Unfortunately for him, he is not all that charismatic. He came in 3rd after Elsa Carrio.
When I would speak to my friends about the elections, it was interesting, many people did not want to vote for Christina, they did not want to vote for any of the candidates. (Of which there were many) Some people felt that Christina was being rammed down their throats.
Several of my friends voted for Elsa Carrio. Not because they wanted her as president. Here in Argentina if there is less than a 10% difference between the first two candidates, there must be a run-off vote. They did not want Christina to win on the first ballot. Well someone must have voted for her because she got over 46% of the vote to Elsa Carrio's 23%.
It will be interesting to see not only how Christina fares as president, but how attitudes towards women will fare. Perhaps this will be the beginning of a new era in more ways than one.