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Will Brazil's Lula run again in 2014?

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Felipe Dana/AP

(Read caption) Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva greets supporters after testing a newly installed cable car system at the Complexo do Alemao slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Dec. 21.

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They say that one mark of great politicians is their ability to look you in the eye and make you believe every word they say. Even when you know they might not believe it themselves.

Outgoing Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has that quality.

The problem with Lula – as he is widely known – is that he tells one audience one thing and then contradicts himself the very next day in front of a completely different crowd.

The latest example came this week when Lula, who stands down on Jan. 1 after a phenomenally successful eight years in power, told a Brazilian TV station he might consider running again in 2014.

“I can’t say no because I'm still alive,” Lula told Rede TV. "I’m honorary president of a party, I’m a born politician, I built extraordinary political relationships.”

That affirmation came just weeks after Lula stood alongside incoming President-elect Dilma Rousseff and angrily said that talk about him running for president again was “small minded.” Brazilians should be discussing 2011 and the immediate challenges ahead, not speculating about four years from now, Lula told reporters.

Lula is constitutionally forbidden from seeking a third consecutive term, but would have been a shoo-in had he been able to run in this fall's election. The unlettered high school dropout and former union leader is the most popular president in Brazil’s history and leaves office with a personal approval rating of 87 percent.


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