Kirchner's Book Keeps Argentines Guessing Over Presidential Bid

(Bloomberg) -- Readers scouring the newly released memoirs of Argentina’s former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner for signs she’ll run again for the nation’s top job look set to be disappointed.

“Sincerely” -- the 66-year-old senator’s first-person take on South America’s second-largest economy -- dwells more on the past than the future. Though she finds plenty of room to lambast President Mauricio Macri, reminisce over her friendship with Hugo Chavez and celebrate her nationalization of oil company YPF, she offers no clues as to her intentions for this year’s elections.

Kirchner's Book Keeps Argentines Guessing Over Presidential Bid

A recent poll showed the left-wing populist would narrowly beat Macri in October’s election, while others see a potential run-off between the two as too close to call. Unlike Macri, Kirchner has refused to comment on whether she will run, though some are interpreting the book’s release as part of her election bid. Parties have to submit candidate lists on June 22, ahead of primaries in August.

The surprise publication has proved a hit. With Kirchner eschewing public appearances and big speeches, the book offers an insight into her thinking. Publisher Sudamericana is launching its fourth print run with 60,000 new copies, adding to the 64,000 already out since the book’s release on April 26. The more striking excerpts from the 594-page tome are being widely shared on social media.

Argentina’s current president merits no fewer than 170 mentions. “If someone asked me to define Mauricio Macri in one word, the only one that comes to my mind is chaos,” Kirchner writes.

Here are some other highlights of “Sincerely”:

Mauricio Macri

  • “Mauricio Macri is chaos and that’s why I firmly believe that Argentina must be fixed again.”

IMF and the Markets

  • “We had no access to capital markets and still survived five currency routs.”

Nationalization of YPF

  • “The only thing I regret was that Nestor [Kirchner, former husband and president] wasn’t there to see it. I know he would have enjoyed it very much. I had always dreamed of recovering YPF for the country... always. It was a critical issue for Argentina that he dreamed of doing.”

Venezuela

  • “Hugo [Chavez] was always supportive of Argentina, although he made a big mistake when we issued debt that Venezuela bought, and instead of retaining the bonds, he sold them immediately, causing prices to drop in the international market. I almost killed him”.

Fake News

  • “Deep down I believe, no matter how crazy fake news may sound, that they operate on a defenseless audience that believes what it reads in the newspapers and sees on television.”

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