When outgoing President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he will not go to Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, many recalled the turbulent transition between the government of Cristina Kirchner and Mauricio Macri, in a ceremony that she preferred to avoid.
“Trump is imitating the gesture” of Cristina, said to Clarion Benjamin Gedan, former Barack Obama official and expert on our country.
It is not the first time that the Argentine case has been mentioned in Washington. A few weeks ago the American magazine Foreign Policy had compared the situations in the two countries in an article on Trump that he titled “The Argentine plan for the sabotage of the transition”.
When Donald Trumpo became president, his predecessor, Democrat Barack Obama, participated in the ceremony. (Reuters)
The note, by journalist Luke Patey, argued that “without examples of a modern American president refusing a smooth transition of power, it is instructive to look beyond the borders of the United States for answers. Argentina’s 2015 presidential transition from Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to Mauricio Macri offers some hints of what could happen. From last minute government spending to bitter court battles, the result is not pleasant ”, wrote the journalist about the difficulties in the transition.
Consulted by Clarion, Benjamin Gedan, who was director for the region in the National Security Council during the administration of Barack Obama and today is the director of the “Argentina Project” of the Wilson Center, pointed out that our country “offers two very different recent examples, that of 2015 and that of 2019 ”.
“Cristina’s decision to hinder the transition and boycott the swearing-in of the president-elect (Mauricio Macri) weakened the new administration because it created doubts about the legitimacy of his successor among her followers. Trump is imitating this example despite the fact that the American political culture highly values the orderly handover of power.
Mauricio Macri during his inauguration speech, in Congress, in 2015. (AP)
Gedan adds, however, that “Trump could have copied the other Argentine model,” that is, the transition between Macri and Alberto Fernández. “Both in Argentina and the United States there are very intense social and political divisions. But a year ago, the last Argentine president quickly accepted his defeat, joined his adversary and participated in the transfer of command ceremony.
Gedan cites another example that he considers relevant in the Southern Cone: the conciliatory message of Tabaré Vázquez after the defeat of the Frente Amplio last year. As a result of this harmonious transition, “instead of the broad front attacking the Legislative Palace in Montevideo, as happened in Washington, a member of the coalition attended an act of the opposition president-elect with a sign that read,“ Congratulations Lacalle Pou, yes they are doing well, me too. Luck.”