Chile’s new president (Taylor’s version): Gabriel Boric is a Swiftie
This week, 35-year-old Gabriel Boric Font became Chile’s youngest-ever president-elect.
But he also counts himself among an unexpected demographic: Taylor Swift fans.
For the record:
10:19 a.m. Dec. 23, 2021A previous version stated that Boric was the first leftist president-elect since Salvador Allende. Michelle Bachalet of the Socialist Party served two terms as president, first between 2006 and 2010, and again between 2014 and 2018.
During a recent public appearance, a group of Chilean Swifties flocked to Boric and asked: “Are you a Swiftie, or not?” Boric quietly reached into his coat pocket and revealed a wallet-sized photo of Swift.
Online, Boric was widely touted by fans as the “Swiftie Candidate.” Wrote one Twitter user: “Swifties taking over the world one country at a time.”
Under the banner of Frente Amplio, a coalition of left-wing groups in Chile, congressman and former student leader Boric defeated José Antonio Kast, leader of the Chilean Republican Party.
Aside from his politics, Boric has received attention over the years for his ultra-millennial rejection of a suit and tie, instead flaunting his tattooed arms and expansive collection of heavy-metal merch: He’s been photographed wearing hats with the logos for Deftones, Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein and Tool.
His peers and associates remember the South Central rapper who was fatally stabbed at a local music festival: ‘There will never be another Drakeo.’
This summer, Boric threw constituents for a loop when he posed for a photo wearing one of Swift’s limited-edition “Folklore”-era cardigans and tweeted “I feel #Swiftie” in Spanish. In an interview with Santiago radio station Los40 Chile, Boric said he was converted by some of Swift’s biggest fans, whom he spoke with on the campaign trail; he also shared a favorable review of the singer’s 2021 album “Red (Taylor’s Version).”
As a law student at the University of Chile, Boric was a prominent voice in the 2011 student movement against for-profit education. By 2013, he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies, a wing of Chile’s Congress, where he represents his home in Chile’s southernmost Magallanes-Antarctica Region. He will continue to serve until his presidential inauguration in March 2022.
The first item on his agenda — besides choosing the most fitting Chilean pop star to perform at his inauguration — is overseeing the Constitutional Convention. Comprised of 155 delegates, divided evenly between men and women — and including 17 seats for Indigenous representatives — the group will draft a new constitution for Chile, which will then be ratified by citizens through a national plebiscite in 2022.
This comes after a wave of protests in October 2019, which in part called for a total rewrite of the Chilean Constitution. Save for a few amendments, the constitution was drafted during the reign of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who came to power after a U.S.-backed military coup had violently overthrown then-President Allende in 1973. Pinochet remained in power until 1990.
“We are a generation that emerged in public life demanding our rights be respected as rights and not treated like consumer goods or a business,” Boric said in his Sunday night victory speech. “Only with social cohesion, refinding ourselves and sharing common ground will we be able to advance toward truly sustainable development — which reaches every Chilean.”
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