World Citizen: The Magic Fades for Argentina’s Power Couple

World Citizen: The Magic Fades for Argentina’s Power Couple

The most publicized image manipulation during President Barack Obama's recent world travels involved Hugo Chávez, who managed to get a front-page handshake with his North American counterpart and later launched an anti-American book to the top of the best-seller list by theatrically handing it to Obama before the cameras.

But the most wounding moment came earlier, during the G-20 summit in London, when Obama -- perhaps unintentionally -- snubbed the President of Argentina. During the gathering of world leaders, Obama walked in the Argentine's direction, offering a wide smile and an outstretched hand in preparation for a handshake. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner reciprocated, reaching towards Obama, who walked past her to shake German Chancellor Angela Merkel's hand. For Mrs. Kirchner, the snub could not have come at a worse time. A friendly exchange with the popular American president might have given even a small boost to an administration that needs all the help it can get.

Not long ago, it looked as if the name "Kírchner" would shine brightly across Argentina's political sky for many years to come. The name had first become linked to the word "Presidente" in 2003, when Argentineans reluctantly chose an obscure governor from Patagonia to help lead them out of economic and political turmoil.

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