THERE was discussion between Washington and the US ambassador to Madrid regarding Carme Chacon’s appointment as Defence minister in 2008.
Minister of Housing until then, she was 39 and pregnant but Eduardo Aguirre commented that although young and inexperienced “she should not be underestimated.”
Spanish president Jose Luis Zapatero regarded her as ‘a strong manager’ and Aguirre patronisingly predicted that given time she would ‘grow into the job.’
Tragically, Chacon no longer has time. Having left politics she was found dead in her Madrid home, the victim of a heart condition that she had lived with since she was 10.
She was Spain’s first female Minister of Defence, she reviewed troops in a maternity smock, visited troops in Afghanistan when she was seven months pregnant and refused to observe the convention that women should wear a dress at the Armed Forces’ big day, the Pascua Militar.
She ignored many barriers, including that of her health, but would have preferred to be remembered as Defence minister not because she was a woman, but because she did a good job.
IF Carme Chacon had collected 22 more votes in 2013, she would have become secretary general of the PSOE socialist........