Last week’s comment of the moment was made by third time Mexico presidential hopeful and leader of the National Regeneration Movement (Morena) Andrés Manuel López Obrador, popularly known as AMLO.
For those unfamiliar with recent Mexican history, AMLO has been the presidential candidate twice for the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), from which he parted in 2014 to form the Morena party.
In a radio-TV interview with one of his worst foes and critics, who slandered him during the 2012 election by pumping up Peña Nieto’s lead over him by as much as 30 percent in an obviously rigged and paid for anti-AMLO campaign, Ciro Gómez Leyva, AMLO opened up and talked to his former detractor like he never did before. In doing so, he positioned himself as the leading presidential candidate for the 2018 elections.
His leading statement was to defend, oh shock and awe, his most formidable current foe, President Enrique Peña Nieto’s Education Reform.
At a moment when the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) union, which AMLO has publicly backed, demands that the Education Reform passed by Congress be repealed AMLO said:
“It cannot be repealed, as that would be the claudication of the administration. This game is not about playing arm wrestling. The government has to accept that it made a mistake by not consulting the teachers and family parents when it pushed the bill for the package of laws now known as the Education Reform.”
Furthermore AMLO added in a clear warning to the rogue CNTE teachers who demand that the so-called Education Reform be repealed.
“Demanding that the Education Reform be repealed is calling for the claudication of the government. This demand is not convenient for anyone.”
AMLO, who is way ahead in the still-two-years-away race for president of Mexico, has taken a step back from his stance in 2006 when he staged a protest backed by over one million voters to publicly complain about his loss, by less than 1 percent, to Felipe Calderón.
“To hell with the electoral institutions,” he said then.
But by saying that President Enrique Peña Nieto shouldn’t back down to the vicious insurrection — sedition, some say now — of the CNTE union, AMLO suddenly, and out of nowhere, becomes institutional himself.
But by saying this, AMLO gets off the hook from the unreasonable demands of the CNTE guild, which is adamant that Peña Nieto (not Congress, as it is demanded by law) repeal the Education Reform, which of course, Mexico’s president will never do. This is indeed arm wrestling at its worst.
Another feature of the interview was a change of stance by AMLO regarding his former PRD backers. In the recent past AMLO has badmouthed the PRD to the hilt. Yet now he showed himself more lenient towards the stance and suddenly he is more amicable to them, to the point that if they want to present a united left wing candidacy he’d talk to them, but only if they break up with their alliances with right-wing National Action Party (PAN) and of course, with “the mobster in power,” namely President Enrique Peña Nieto.
On the anecdotic side of the interview, AMLO was in San Diego last week to attend that baseball farce called Homerun Derby in which he and his son were photographed next to slugger David “Big Papi” Ortiz.
An often anti-gringo politico, this time AMLO said “my one defect is that I love baseball.”
But he also launched his presidential campaign for 2018 with a full-steam-ahead anti-corruption campaign and defended himself from slogans framed by former presidents Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón claiming that his policies are “a threat to Mexico.”
“I will not, if elected president, carry out a witch-hunt, but the only ones fearing me are very corrupt. That’s what makes me a threat to Mexico.”
Definitely, politicians have multiple faces, and AMLO is not an exception.