The Heartthrob VP Candidate: Amado Boudou
I finally saw the Minister of Economy Amado Boudou live last wednesday at the Americas Society-Council of the Americas’ (AS/COA) forum on political and economic development in Argentina. Along with various ministers and presidential candidates, Boudou addressed business leaders on the economy and of course, the vision of the current government on its future development. Although I missed his speech, I was able to relive the entire lecture through AS/COA’s live video footage.
After the speech was over, and administrative duties I had to attend to were coming to a close, I ran upstairs to the conference and found Boudou in full-on campaign action, giving an interview, buttering up the reporters. I was a mere three feet away from him and could not help but feel in awe—especially since he is the first famous politician I have seen in person, not to mention a gorgeous one. Amado Boudou is known for his charisma and jovial personality, even when it’s not election season. Many have seen him campaign by jamming out in front of swooning crowds in parks and even singing and dancing on national television. His love for national Argentine rock is no secret as before he took on economics, he used to organize concerts and events in music clubs in Mar del Plata, the city he grew up in.
Though his educational background would lead one to believe him to be economically conservative (he received a master in economics from the UCEMA, a highly-neoliberal institution), his nationalistic spirit so flaunted in his musical tastes is also reflected in his policies. He entered the national social security agency ANSES in 1998 and climbed up the professional ladder to become its secretary general. In 2008, Boudou was a steadfast supporter of making the agency in charge of managing public revenue, the AFJP, public. In his speech in the AS/COA forum, he emphasized the government’s role in representing all interests, business as well as social, and how countries are in need of shifting economic focuses from financial stability to job creation and employment security.
Although an economist by profession, the man is a politician through and through, and a populist one at that—which I suppose sort of makes him a fake economist. President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner made a fantastic choice in picking Aimé (French version of “Amado,” and his nickname back home) not only because he now appears in every poster on every corner of the city, but because he exudes the populist ideals she so promotes and stands by.