Curious and curiouser: Kris 2016?
They say everyone and everything arrives late in the Philippines. True, maybe, but not when it comes to politics. Less than three years to go before we elect a new president – 940 or 950 days, by President Aquino’s reckoning (actually, it’s an aide who keeps a calendar marking the days to June 30, 2016) – and the buzz is titillating a lot of people: Is Kris ready for politics on the national, not just local, level?
Kris for president? Kris for vice president? Even people in government have been sounded off – or are they doing the sounding off? I was hoping President Aquino had heard the hum and would explode a bombshell when I asked that last question at our “Bulong Pulungan” Christmas party at Sofitel hotel. His big-brotherly answer was noncommittal, politically savvy: “The last time we talked, she said she was busy managing her career as a stage mother.”
“Mr. President,” I reminded him, “Kris is more popular than you . . . sometimes.” By which I meant to suggest, as the rumormongers have been rumoring, that Kris’ popularity puts her miles and millions of votes ahead of all others who are dreaming of a run for the presidency after her brother steps down. While they are dreaming, Kris is actualizing her future. She’s grown up, if I may use the phrase, she has mellowed (if not matured), she has quieted down somewhat. Kris for president? She wouldn’t need to spend a billion or two – those billboards, posters, movies, TV shows, magazine covers are worth billions already, and she need not spend another cent to be packaged, assured as she is of her marketability and name recall.
Is she plotting her moves to throw her hat into the ring? ”Serious” politicians and pundits who are desperately looking for a challenger strong enough – like a supertyphoon – to face down Vice President Jojo Binay may not see substance in the what-ifs, but stranger things have happened before. She could even be “vice” to Ping Lacson, if such a scenario is in the Rehab Czar’s stars. But knowing how Kris’ coruscating mind works, the road to Malacañang will be more brightly lighted than a detour to the Coconut Palace.