Pope Francis forces Argentine political about-face

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 27, 2013 at 11:52 am •  Published: March 27, 2013
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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina's populist president Cristina Fernandez and most of her followers have managed to pull off a sudden about-face in the days since the cardinal she treated as a political arch-enemy became Pope Francis.

Fernandez long sought to neutralize the influence of Buenos Aires Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. For years, her allies had labeled him "chief of the opposition" and "accomplice of the dictatorship."

So they suddenly found themselves out of step with the joy most Argentines have shown at seeing one of their own running the Vatican.

They weren't out of step for long, though.

After an initial delay, Fernandez has jumped to ally herself with the pope — even as some of her followers continue to criticize him.