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  Argentina: Mourning president has re-election edge
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ContributorIndyGeorgia 
Last EditedIndyGeorgia  Mar 30, 2011 03:32pm
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CategoryAnalysis
AuthorDebora Rey
MediaWebsite - Yahoo News
News DateWednesday, March 30, 2011 09:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionBUENOS AIRES, Argentina – The president is dressed entirely in black, the color of mourning that she has worn each day since the death of her husband five months ago.

On stage, Cristina Fernandez wipes away tears, recovers her composure and raises her arm in a victory sign. Cheers for her re-election fill the stadium, where a Peronist party celebration has turned into an homage to her spouse, former president and power broker Nestor Kirchner.

"I feel his force in every word, and he is definitely here with all of us," she told crowd packing the Huracan football stadium in her first huge political rally since Kirchner died of a heart attack on Oct. 27.

With this October's presidential elections looming for Argentina, Fernandez's grief for the loss of her lifelong partner has turned out to have political benefits, rallying backers, drawing sympathy and shielding her from attack even as she rises in the polls.

No one can doubt Fernandez's pain, but she has maintained a strict mourning far longer than required by modern protocols, and invokes Kirchner's memory in nearly every speech, though rarely by name. She speaks of what "He" would have done, or how "He" would feel to see her so supported.

Skeptics suggest she is using her mourning to political effect.
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