Not even Cristina Kirchner held back. When observing Javier Milei’s presidential baton, she showed surprise and laughed, in a nice gesture between opponents at this Sunday’s inauguration (10).
What impressed Cristina was the design on the silver top of the so-called “stick of command” – the traditional wooden stick received by the highest authority of the Argentine Executive since 1968. Milei’s stick is carved with the faces of Murray, Milon, Robert, Lucas and Conan, his five English mastiff dogs, to whom the current president entrusts great friendship.
Milei’s dogs are an important and well-explored part of her solitary personality. Buenos Aires biographer Juan Luis González, in “El Loco” (the madman), says that after the death of his former dog Conan, Milei spent US$50,000 to clone the animal in the United States. She received the puppies, renamed one with the same name and named the rest after her favorite economists: Murray (Rothbard), Milton (Friedman), Robert and Lucas (Robert Lucas).
A supporter of mysticism, Milei believes that Conan became a friend of God after his death and that he suggested that he become president of Argentina, according to the book (which Milei does not comment on). The cloned pets that live with the politician would also have influence over his decisions. The substitute Conan would be responsible for the campaign strategy, Robert would predict the future, Milton would do political analysis, and Murray would do economic analysis.
The five dogs are now detailed on one of Argentina’s symbols of power.
The presidential accessory has been made by the Pallarols family for at least seven decades. Since 1983, they have been in the hands of goldsmith Juan Carlos Pallarols. But according to the daily La Nacion, Milei opted for another version of the baton for the ceremony, designed by another artisan.
Former president Mauricio Macri also broke with tradition by choosing a cane made by goldsmith Damian Tessore for his inauguration.
In a recent interview with La Nacion, Pallarols, 81, took the baton to the TV studio and highlighted his tradition, which dates back to ancient shepherds who guided the sheep. “The baton is not mine or the president’s, the baton belongs to the people,” he said. The object will go to Casa Rosada.
The shaft produced by Pallarols is made of 925 silver and urunday wood, known for its tenacity. Its silver handle has 24 thistles, one for each province, in addition to the nation’s coat of arms accompanied by the white and sky blue colors of the Argentine flag.
Almost five million Argentines participated in the making, according to the artisan, including all the presidential candidates, who help shape the handle with manual blows.
Each presidential baton is made according to the height of the new head of the Casa Rosada. In the case of Milei (1.78m), she was 92 centimeters. Following this logic, if Sergio Massa had won, his could have been bigger, as it measures two centimeters longer.