Hillary Clinton thinks the United States should act a little more like the scandal-plagued, economically-collapsing pseudo-democracies of Latin America.
According to Jennifer Epstein, a Bloomberg Politics correspondent embedded with the Hillary Clinton campaign, Hillary made the comment during her speech at the Atlantic Council:
“Probably predictable for me to say this,” she said, “but there’s a lot we can learn from Latin America’s success in electing women presidents.”
While Latin America has elected three female presidents in its history—all of them currently in office—they’re not exactly the shining example Clinton thinks they are. And certainly not the kind of leader a U.S. President—or, really, any world leader—should want to emulate.
In fact, in each case, their administrations have been ravaged by scandal and faced with collapsing economies.
Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff, for instance, is currently sinking underneath a growing corruption scandal—one that has seen 50 politicians from 6 different political parties implicated. For her role in the scandal, and the current state of the country, she’s been threatened with impeachment by high-powered former allies in Brazil’s National Congress—just seven months into her second term.
Worse, the once fast-developing Brazilian economy has skidded into a brutal recession under her leadership, with skyrocketing unemployment and a crumbling currency.
In Argentina, the situation is just as bad: President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who succeeded her late husband as president, has seen her popularity plummet. After creating a mess of socialist regulations that have spooked investors and caused wild inflation in the once-wealthy South American country, Argentina’s economy has sputtered, and the nation has literally gone bankrupt: it defaulted on its debts and has been shut out of international lending markets.
Last month, the term-limited Kirchner’s self-chosen successor lost a once sure-thing election in a conservative upset victory. Argentina’s new incoming president, Mauricio Macri, has vowed to undo just about everything Kirchner created.
The day after he was elected, the Argentine stock exchange shot up more than 40%—largely driven by foreign investors who finally see a reason to invest in Argentina.
Meanwhile, in Chile, President Michele Bachelet has a pathetic 24% approval rating—due in large part to a massive scandal that involved her son and daughter-in-law pocketing a $5 million profit, after receiving a bribe from a major Chilean banker.
Bachelet also had to shuffle her cabinet after growing scandal just 4 months into her first term, and weathered disastrous public relations moves after another, where thousands accused her of exploiting a tragedy.
Hillary Clinton styles herself as a progressive—but if the “progress” she’s hoping for looks anything like the “progress” in South America, the United States could be in for a rough four years.