Oh, Temer. The silly things you say. Well, we’ve got another media blunder for his list. At the start of the year, the president called Brazil’s worst prison massacre in history an “accident”. Last week on Women’s Day, he celebrated women as “housewives”. So now, seeing a ghost may seem like a minor detail. Yet, this time Temer’s bad joke – or was it a joke? – has made international news.
In an interview with Veja, Temer explained why his family moved out of the Presidential Palace. In addition to “feeling bad vibes”, he wondered, “Could there be a ghost here?” He explained that he couldn’t sleep from the first night onward, and his wife felt strange living there too.
Perhaps taking office after a controversial impeachment has left Brazil’s president a bit cooky. In any case, Temer assured the press that he wouldn’t let his unpopularity in Congress or with the public hold him back. He emphasized his desire to go down in history as a “reformist President” in a number of national and international press interviews.
Just in the last month, Brazil’s president has done 7 interviews. In addition to five interviews with Brazilian media, he’s done two others with major international news outlets: The Economist and the Financial Times. In both, Temer came out with raving reviews. The Economist called him “Brazil’s accidental, consequential president”.
Quite the opposite of how the Brazilian public sees him. Things are so bad back home that there’s talk of a second impeachment. In addition to corruption cases surrounding him and his cabinet, the economy and unemployment are as bad as ever. Moreover, Temer continues to push extremely unpopular austerity reforms – the same ones he argues will save Brazil’s future.
And indeed, with the obvious media offensive, he hopes he’ll go down in the history books as the country’s savior. Local Brazilian press came out with encouraging headlines like “Whoever doesn’t want reform is against the country”, and “Temer bets on victory in Congress and a high GDP”.
Temer, his wife and 7-year-old son are now back in the Vice President’s home, Palácio do Jaburu. Since he took over from Dilma Rousseff following her impeachment, no one has replaced him as Vice. The house is still theirs. But we’re waiting to see if the ghosts follow him there.