In December of 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton questioned the “mental state and health” of former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
She even asked U.S. diplomats in Buenos Aires to investigate Kirchner’s mental state and whether she was on medication to help her “calm down.”
According to The Guardian — which had early access to U.S. diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks in November of 2010 — Clinton sent secret memos to the U.S. embassy, asking how Kirchner’s “nerves and anxiety” and “stress” were affecting her “behavior” and her “decision-making.”
The Guardian reports:
The US secretary of state painted Kirchner as a volatile and emotional leader who suffered from “nerves and anxiety”, according to a secret cable sent to the US embassy in Buenos Aires.
Clinton asked diplomats a series of questions in December last year which could infuriate Kirchner and sabotage a recent rapprochement between Argentina and America.
In a section headed “mental state and health” she asked how the first lady-turned president was managing “her nerves and anxiety” in a blunt tone which suggested US concerns.
“How does stress affect her behaviour toward advisers and/or her decision-making? What steps does Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner or her advisers/handlers take in helping her deal with stress? Is she taking any medications?
“Under what circumstances is she best able to handle stresses? How do Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s emotions affect her decision-making and how does she calm down when distressed?”
The Guardian suggested that Clinton’s interest in the mental health of Kirchner was due to the fact that the former Argentine president had a political story similar to her own, having succeeded her husband Néstor Kirchner as president of Argentina.
“Both are lawyers and tough political operators whose husbands became president and campaigned for their wives to inherit the sash after they left office,” the news outlet said.
Clinton was also reportedly interested in the relationship between Kirchner and her husband.
“We are currently preparing a written product examining the interpersonal dynamics between the governing tandem,” Clinton wrote in a memo, notes The Guardian. “We have a much more solid understanding of Néstor Kirchner’s style and personality than we do of Cristina … and would like to develop a more well-rounded view of (her) personality.”
According to the New York Post at the time, Clinton said, after the WikiLeaks documents were uncovered, that the U.S. government regretted the release of the classified information and expressed the hope that security could be tightened to prevent further such disclosures.
Reacting to the news of the release of Clinton’s memos, Venezuela’s former president, Hugo Chavez, criticized Clinton, saying, “Someone should study Mrs. Clinton’s mental health. … She feels superior to Obama. … Because she is white, she feels superior to the black president.”
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