The only person who for sure will be a candidate in the 2018 Mexican presidential elections is definitely Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) who now has the lead in the polls and no sure contender in sight — at least for now.
Leapfrogging over other candidates may have many advantages, but it also has some disadvantages. Because he is the sole current candidate, AMLO is the target of not only the well-greased and better organized Mexican political machinery, but also several U.S. Republican observers who are already saying that “to have a left wing person in the presidency of Mexico would not only be bad for the United States, but for Mexico.”
This quote belongs to U.S. Department of Homeland Security John Kelly, as well Arizona Senator John McCain, both of who last week showed concern over AMLO’s current lead.
AMLO himself called upon the United States “not to meddle” in the upcoming presidential election and questioned the recent visit former first lady Margarita Zavala and now National Action Party (PAN) presidential candidacy hopeful paid to Senator McCain allegedly to talk about the status of undocumented Mexicans living in the United States.
“Just watch how nervous they [PAN people] are. Calderón’s wife Margarita — because Calderón hopes to reelect himself through his wife — got an interview with John McCain, former presidential candidate to the U.S. presidency when Barack Obama ran, but her real reason was to try and stop the [Mexican] left with the candidacy of Calderón’s wife.”
At President Enrique Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) the concern of AMLO’s presence and the unprecedented growth his National Regeneration Movement (Morena) political party has them biting their nails, also very nervous, and for more than just AMLO.
In the State of Mexico election for governor, the Morena candidate (as we’ve reported before), Delfina Gómez Álvarez, is running nose-to-nose with PRI candidate Alfredo del Mazo Maza in a race that foreseeably now will favor either. This is very bad news for PRI.
But beyond the State of Mexico, what really matters is what’s coming up next year and the fact that contending parties will be selecting their candidates circa next November, but not without a grueling intra-partisan competition for the presidential candidacy that will most definitely leave all candidates — except AMLO, of course — weakened.
But another sign that AMLO’s candidacy is striking fear in the hearts of the leaders of other parties — besides gringo Republicans — is the frontal campaign some of his close collaborators and backers are undergoing, as is the case of law professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) as well as political columnist, and avowed backer of AMLO, John M. Ackerman.
In his Monday column Ackerman denounces the barrage of insults he is getting in the press attacked by well-known columnists whom Ackerman suspects are part of a campaign against AMLO. A common denominator of all columnists is that they compare Ackerman to Donald Trump’s right wing ideologist Steve Bannon as “AMLO’s Steve Bannon.” For a leftists Mexican, that’s the worst insult anyone can launch at him, but that’s the way it is.
I asked Ackerman just last Sunday what he made out of this as it is highly unusual to have a similar onslaught. Ackerman, who studied law at the University of California and is the son of U.S. parents, answered and exploded over the unusual and unprecedented barrage of attacks against him in his column published last Monday in daily La Jornada saying:
“The intellectual gun slingers for PRIAN (PRI and PAN) have also aimed their weaponry against the person writing these letters. Over the past two weeks this columnist as well as an academician has been reviled in the most grotesque, ignorant, aggressive and lying way. Over a dozen columnists’s columns have been expressly directed against me by characters like Pablo Hiriart, Jorge Fernández Menéndez, Ricardo Alemán, Fernando García Ramírez, Federico Arreola, Leo Zuckermann, Juan Ignacio Zavala and Genaro Lozano. This media lynching has also come through through radio and TV with hawkers like Oscar Mario Beteta.”
The ganging-up by all these well-known journalists was no doubt well-orchestrated from both political parties, PRI and PAN but in the end answer the question posted at the top this column:
Who’s afraid of leftist candidate AMLO? Surely, his political foes that see him as a wolf hiding under a sheep’s skin.