Realpolitik in Mexico has to take deeply into consideration that it is currently at the helm of the nation. And no doubt President Enrique Peña Nieto in his speech last Sunday to the militancy of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) outlined the rules of the game to play.
Peña Nieto made it clear that within the rules of the PRI it is not of great importance who is the next candidate for president, but the programs outlined by the party are, particularly in the past four years of his mandate, after 12 years the nation was commandeered by the National Action Party (PAN).
The fact is that Peña Nieto’s much touted reforms in Energy and Education will be in peril if a candidate from a different party wins. They would surely be dismantled and a new course to the nation would be set, defeating every effort Peña Nieto and PRI invested during the current six-year term that ends on midnight Nov. 30, 2018.
These are difficult times for Peña Nieto, who is looking for the right successor who can assure him that he will pursue his outlined business route for the nation among different persons currently part of the cabinet.
Unquestionably there are many hopefuls who’d just love to be the PRI candidate but to all of them Peña Nieto’s words were clear: “First comes the plan, first comes the program, first come the project and later, the names.”
But concerning all the hopefuls whose personality could fit this outline is the old remark made by former Guerrero Gov. Rubén Figueroa when asked back in 1980 as to who could succeed President José López Portillo as the sole candidate for president, who retorted: “The horse herd looks too scrawny to run a race.”
Of course those were the days when even with some opposition, the PRI candidate was unbeatable. That’s no longer the case today and most definitely Peña Nieto wants to appoint as candidate someone who will be a sure-fire winner of the election to extend his programs.
The News editor Raymundo Rivapalacio says that this is pretty much the case today as the many pre-candidates to the PRI nomination don’t meet all the demands Peña Nieto is asking from the future PRI candidate.
Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, for instance, is an excellent politician but probably he would not know how to follow up on the economic programs Peña Nieto has established by changing the Constitution.
Education Secretary Aurelio Nuño, “would trade gold for glass beads” in order to get the nomination.
In fact, out of the current cabinet the one man standing out is Treasury and Finance Secretary José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, but for starters he is not a registered PRI member and last Sunday he was not at the PRI summit where Peña Nieto outlined the profile of the candidate he’s looking for.
Yet out of all the postulates he’s the only one singing the tune that could ring just right to the ears of Peña Nieto. Here’s a quote uttered Tuesday (after the PRI powwow) from his view of Peña Nieto’s economic policies, and how he’s implementing it: “We are looking within the spaces that the reforms offer to anchor investment procedures, hence the importance of the Petróleos de México (Pemex) business plan, the importance of the Shared Network program and the (construction of the new Mexico City) airport because these are projects not subject today, in an environment of uncertainty, that will help us to have dynamism forward.”
That to me sounds like sheer futurism and that Meade is trying to say, I know I’m out but count me in.
And also, there’s the name of former Treasury Secretary Luis Videgaray, who regardless of the fact that Peña Nieto has admitted he is an advisor but nothing else, is the most current direct link to the new administration of the White House as he apparently is in direct contact with the Donald Trump transition team.
Videgaray, by the way, is currently striking terror at the Foreign Relations Secretariat (SRE) as he may just – or so gossip has it – be appointed as Foreign Relation Secretary replacing Claudia Ruiz Massieu.
The one inescapable fact is that at PRI headquarters they have become aware that the upcoming election is going to be a competitive one and these are not the old times when PRI could run the electoral process from the Interior Secretariat.
Indeed, there is no certainty that whoever Peña Nieto selects as candidate will win and should PRI lose the presidency in 2018, surely Peña Nieto’s house of cards will come crumbling down.