What happened when a president joked about 'House of Cards'

Doug Stamper from the TV series House of Cards addresses President Macri in the Casa Rosada in Argentina. Image copyright Twitter / @mauriciomacri

A video clip showing one of the actors in the hit political thriller House of Cards kicked off an online argument in Argentina.

"Mr President. This is Doug Stamper. Thank you for having me in the Pink House. I've come to make sure the house is in order. If I can be of any assistance, please let me know."

This deadpan statement by actor Michael Kelly was shot in the Casa Rosada (Pink House), the official residence of Argentine President Mauricio Macri, and posted to Facebook on Macri's own page. It was a wry reference to Kelly's role in the Netflix series House of Cards - which, for the uninitiated, features a ruthless - and occasionally murderous - American president, Frank Underwood. Doug Stamper is his scheming chief of staff - he's been described as "cold and calculating", "twisted and dark" and a "master of subterfuge".

Kelly was visiting Argentina as part of a promotional tour, and the short clip was clearly meant as a bit of fun by Macri, who's an avid social media user. But that didn't stop some Argentines from suggesting it was troubling that the president used a fictional character with sinister characteristics to endorse him.

"Doug is helpful but it is maybe not so advisable that people connect him with you," said Facebook user Daniela Mollo. "We all know Frank Underwood and we know about his intentions."

"Really Mr President? Do you want a murderer as an assistant? This is a joke right? I don't know what to think," another woman tweeted.


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Others read no sinister intent in the humour and praised the president. "Top man," tweeted @AndresZiegler. Another tweeted: "God bless you Mr President, I have renewed faith thanks to you."

The post was viewed more than 500,000 times and shared more than 6,000 times. Marci has form online - according to a study carried out by US communications firm Burson-Marsteller, he's one of the most-liked Latin American political leaders on Facebook, and gets more engagement on his page than any other world leader. His campaign to take over from his predecessor Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner last year received a big boost from his social media presence and his popularity among young people. And he recently joined Snapchat:

Image copyright Facebook / Mauricio Macri

Blog by Alison Daye

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