Do Evita Peron and Michelle Obama share anything in common?

Eva Peron, also known as "Evita," was Argentina's most famous First Lady and one of the best known in history.

This week while in Buenos Aires I visited her grave in the Recoleta Cemetery and also the Evita Museum located in an old building that her foundation once used as a women's shelter.

As I consider the legacy of Evita, I am reminded of the new U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama who is from Chicago.

Do these two women have anything in common?

Both women have dedicated themselves to helping the needy.

In Evita's case, the museum showed how she created new programs to help women, children and the elderly. In one film, they show smiling children dressed up in new clothes, eating huge meals, playing in toy cars and visiting the beach for the first time.

Michelle Obama we know is dedicating part of her work to helping families, especially those in the military.

I guess this is not an uncommon role for First Ladies to do charity work.

Evita was beloved by the people and even more popular than her husband President Juan Peron.

Michelle Obama's approval ratings also are higher than her husband President Obama.

In the museum, there's a film about a trip Evita took abroad making stops in Spain, Italy and visiting South American leaders.

She looked stylish in her hats, heels, and dresses. (You also can see some of them on display at the museum and in my slideshow with photos from the Evita museum on this blog.)

It actually reminded me of how the media covered Michelle Obama's trip to Europe noting what she wore when she visited the Queen of England, the Pope and also comparing her style to France's First Lady.

What I find interesting is that Evita had people who loved her and also hated her. In the museum they describe that she has a "white myth" and a "black myth."

Michelle and President Barack Obama also have their detractors. The right wing is set on calling the president's policies "socialist."

Evita and Juan Peron were hated by the oligarchy and the wealthy. Some criticized her as too ambitious or unscrupulous. There were alleged sympathies with fascists.

Setting aside the politics, both Eva Peron and Michelle Obama have made history in their time.

I don't think that Michelle Obama will eclipse her husband in his legacy as Evita has Juan Peron. Tourists here flock to Evita's grave and museum. They are more curious about her than him. They are entranced by her beauty, style and charisma.

I guess we are always fascinated by powerful women. In Argentina today they have elected the female President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

And guess what?

She was the former First Lady and wife of former President Nestor Kirchner.

She was elected in October 2007 with a 22 percent margin over her nearest competitor. (Isabel Peron, Juan Peron's third wife after Evita died, took office from 1974 to 1976 after her husband died in his third term in president. But she was not elected.)

If it had not been for Evita, there may not be a Cristina Kirchner as president today.

Evita fought for women's rights. She is quoted as saying (translated from Spanish), "Women have not been mere spectators in the social drama. We have been actors and will be in the future to come with even more intensity ...We will reclaim a place in the fight and consider this right as an honor and a duty."

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