Brazil’s Vice President sees influence grow as scandal engulfs Dilma Rousseff

Simon Romero – The New York Times, 8/7/2015

Few Brazilians gave much thought until recently to their vice president, a 74-year-old scholar of constitutional law with a bearing so formal that a political rival once compared him to “a butler from a horror movie.”

When the vice president, Michel Temer, did occasionally stray into the national spotlight, it was for his ventures into lyrical poetry (he published a book of his verses in 2013) or the attention attracted by his 32-year-old wife, Marcela, a former beauty pageant contestant who has his name tattooed on the nape of her neck.

But Mr. Temer is now emerging from the shadows as President Dilma Rousseff faces a rebellion by parties in her coalition, an economy in decline and calls for her impeachment over a colossal graft scandal involving Petrobras, the government-controlled oil giant. Whether Ms. Rousseff stays in power or is ousted, her vice president is already seeing his influence grow, taking on a more active role in day-to-day governing while reaching out to both the administration’s supporters and opponents.

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