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Latino Daily News

Thursday December 16, 2010

Chile’s Piñera Named Communicator of the Year in the US, Not so Much in Chile

A ranking published by Decker Communication praises President Sebastián Piñera’s handling of the Chilean miners situation, and names the leader the Best Communicator of 2010 saying “The rescue of the Chile miners was the miracle – and the communications orchestrated by President Sebastián Piñera amplified the miracle to the world.” 

At the same time, Chilean news paper giant El Mercurio published an article listing the oh so many blunders and verbal gaffe’s of Piñera, going so far as saying that in his first month as President, he has been involved in more gaffes than former President Michelle Bachelet in her four years as President.

The first blunders came as early as the day he was sworn in. The new president was seen on live TV fumbling and jotting doodles that he showed to the people next to him, and presumably he had misplaced his speech. After an awkward few minutes the ceremony carried on without the president having said a word. All the while Chilean were suffering through a earthquake, a tsunami alert and some aftershocks only to not hear their new President say anything.  Traditionally, on their first day, Chilean presidents are supposed to be greeted at the government palace door by the presidential guard. Piñera took the back entrance, leaving press, civilians and the guard to wonder what happened to him.

On several occasions, Piñera has failed to recognize other heads of state, and more than once has been heard asking Chilean politicians to clarify to him who people are talking to him.

Piñera is also known for slipping, falling and in general being clumsy. He was incredibly close to falling into the Mississippi river last time he visited the U.S.

But without a doubt and eerily close to a certain former U.S. President, Piñera has built a reputation in Chile as someone who mispronounces, or simply makes up words. “Tusunami” instead of tsunami, as well as the epic “marepoto” (the word is maremoto, for a smaller tsunami) which became a YouTube sensation, even spawning a rap, as “poto” in Chile is “butt” so a marepoto, would be a “tsunami of butts.”

More elaborate blunders include the unfortunate comment in a ceremony for a fallen soldier “Parents, family members and friends of the Vergara Toledo Brothers are in their right of celebrating… or remembering his death,” “I’m happy she’s resting in peace” and his most recent gaffe recorded: “In life, one will always find conflicts of interests; only saints and the dead are safe from these situations.”

With the best part of four years ahead of him, we’re sure we’ll hear more Piñerisms, or as El Mercurio puts it additions to Wikipiñera.