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Bolivia: Ex-Beauty Queen Named Candidate for Governor of Beni

For many, the news that Bolivian President Evo Morales would name ex-Miss Bolivia Jessica Jordan, 25, as the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party candidate for governor of the Department of Bení seemed like a late Day of the Innocents (Bolivia's version of April Fools Day) joke. However, when the announcement became official in a live televised press conference, the reaction became immediate on Twitter, as well as the reaction to those reactions. After the dust settled, bloggers also began to provide their thoughts about the matter.

Photo of Jessica Jordan by Hugo Miranda and used with permission.

Photo of Jessica Jordan by Hugo Miranda and used with permission.

Initial opinions on Twitter were ones of disbelief that a former beauty queen would be nominated to participate in the elections in such a high-ranking position. Diego Arrázola (@darrazola) wrote:

ni pa concejal JESSICA JORDAN puej pa GOBERNADORA! q esta pasando? siguen en la jodita de los inocentes?

Not even for council member JESSICA JORDAN, but for GOVERNOR! What is happening? Is it still Day of the Innocents?

Mariela Castrillo (@ardilla_ilusa) wrote:

Lo de Jessica Jordan es hilarante….no hay más gente en Beni? no hay más jóvenes con sueños? q pena…

It is hilarious about Jessica Jordan….there aren't more people in Beni? No more young people with dreams? What a shame..

There were similar messages of disbelief, and many referred to the fact that Jordan was the former Miss Bolivia. However, others thought that it was not fair for people to react in this manner. Patricia (@arquitecta) counters:

que les pasa? ven normal que un feo acceda al poder, pero cuando una bella candidatea, se rayan… machistas!

What is the matter with you all? You think it is normal when someone ugly takes power, but when the candidate is beautiful, you complain…it is machismo!

Jaime Durán of the blog Economía Política, Desde el Lado Gracioso [es] criticizes those that have already written off the candidate:

Están también los que olvidandose de sus posiciones de género han dicho muy sueltos de cuerpo que la niña será muy bella, pero que es poco probable que la cabeza le sirva para algo más que peinarse. Viendo la calidad de gobernadores que hasta ahora ha tenido el Beni, dudo mucho que se pueda criticar a la bella Jessica Jordan, por este tema. Por mi parte, estoy seguro que dictará cátedra en los temas en los que se ocupe, pues siempre he creido que belleza e inteligencia no son para nada incompatibles.

Then there are those who forget their own positions regarding gender equality, who say that surely the girl is beautiful, but it is unlikely that her head is useful for something other than fixing her hair. Seeing the quality of governors that Beni has had so far, I doubt that one can criticize the beautiful Jessica Jordan for that matter. I am sure that she will show aptitude on the matters that she will deal with, I've always thought that beauty and intelligence are not incompatible at all.

One of the major questions that this nomination raises is “What's in it for MAS?” Beni is a department in the Bolivian Orient that has traditionally been under the control of the opposition. Placing a nationally-known figure, who has not been a party member or active in politics is seemingly attracting the attention of the entire country and could turn the tide in that part of the country. Hugo Miranda of Angel Caido [es] adds his thoughts:

Y bueno esto merece un comentario, quizas resulte obvio que el MAS esta usando a figuras publicas de los departamentos donde aun no domina para tratar de ganar las Gobernaduras y Municipios, de esta forma tener el control total de todo Bolivia.

Quizas para algunos Jessica este siendo utilizada para estos fines del todopoderoso Evo Morales.

Pero queda la duda, y creo que Jessica se merece eso por que ella quiere mucho a Bolivia.

This is worth commenting, maybe it is obvious that the MAS is using public figures in the Departments where it does not dominate, in order to win the Governorships and Mayorships, in this way to have total control over all of Bolivia.

Maybe for some, Jessica is being used for those ends by the all-powerful Evo Morales.

The doubt remains, and I think that Jessica deserves all this because she loves Bolivia very much.

The strategy seems to be working as some bloggers who have been apolitical, or even in opposition to the MAS party are starting to support Jordan. However, some are making it clear that their support is going to the candidate, and not the political party. Even those people who are not eligible to vote in the Department are expressing their desire to help the candidate. It still remains to be seen whether the strategy will work in the elections scheduled for April 4, 2010.

Miranda, who has not been a supporter of the MAS party, writes that the one candidate that he will support is Jordan to the extent that he will include free campaign advertising on his sites. Durán concludes:

Creo que la elección del Beni será la más interesante de todas las que presenciaremos en abril del 2010. Asimismo, desde esta palestra anuncio que estoy dispuesto a trasladarme a la bella tierra oriental para colaborar en tareas de campaña

I think that the election in Beni will be the most interesting of all of the April elections. In addition, from this platform (his blog) I announce that I am willing to travel to the beautiful lands of (Beni) to help out in the campaign.

6 comments

  • Well, she’s cuter than Arnold Schwarzenegger.

  • interesante nota. Llama la atencion que J. Jordan habla tres idiomas, ingles, portugues, español y estudio Comercio Internacional.
    Ah… y la foto es mía…

  • Mario la Foto es mia

  • locojhon

    For the past seven years I have watched Evo’s actions and listened to what he has said, and during that time I thought he screwed up only twice–and each time I later learned that I was the one who was wrong–not he.
    I’ve been told that Evo has many great advisers, and he uses their valuable inputs to benefit all of Bolivia. As such, I can’t imagine MAS/Evo endorsing or standing behind Jessica if they thought she might in any way be found to be incapable, incompetent or easily co-opted or corrupted. Be choosing her instead of any of the old-time politicos, they also avoid any historical stench of corruption and/or the failed policies of any opponents.
    I’m betting she’ll stand up to the political bullies, kick some serious rhetorical butt, run a great fact-based campaign and become elected in part because of–not in spite of–her relative youth and lack of governing experience. If she is fully supported by MAS–and anyone in that position would need to be–and she gets the MAS votes, she only has to pick up and switch the voting of what percentage of additional female/Spanish-ancestry or middle-class voters? Not all that many. Consequently, I think that all she has to do to win is to not screw up.
    We’ll see,,,locoto

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