Stepping Into Cory's Shoes

As Aquino's presumed successor, Fidel Ramos is short on charisma and charm. But he just might have the right stuff to do the job better than she did.

It was not the formal passing of the mantle of office, but the moment was telling. Front-running presidential candidate Fidel Ramos was paying a postelection call on outgoing President Corazon Aquino, whose endorsement was largely responsible for the slim lead he now holds in the ballot count of the seven-candidate race. As the pair emerged from their meeting, the normally deferential former Defense Secretary confidently stepped forward to field reporters' questions, leaving Aquino nodding in the background.

Although the vote tally is still not complete, Ramos is cautiously staking his claim to office. Voters and political experts alike, however, still wonder...

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