I haven’t seen anything said about it, but it occurred to me today that I have not seen a single photograph… or image of any sort… of Enrique Peña Nieto since the beginning of this month.
While rumors that Peña Nieto has a serious illness have never been denied, or even commented on, by his staff, the story never got much traction in the press. Whether it is because of the general Mexican reticence to bring up personal matters (Peña Nieto was an exception to the rule — even mentioning a presidential candidate’s spouse, let alone their children, or knowing much about their personal lives is only accidental, and usually a matter of history, not campaign news) or because health issues would only complicate the already complicated reportage surrounding the legal issues surrounding his election, I can’t say.
But, if you go back through the recent coverage, from about mid-July forward, you have “spokesmen” for Peña Nieto, or his lawyers… or party officials all appearing for the candidate, but almost no photographs of the supposed winner. Given that not only is he now an international figure, but within Mexico, more than just the President-Elect, he’s a telenovela diva’s husband… AND, his photogenic looks were said to have swayed a number of voters, it’s inexplicable that he is not seen in public. Other than “tweets”… supposedly from Peña Nieto himself… he’s been the invisible man.
I fully expect Peña Nieto will officially become President-Elect tomorrow. Given that it has taken this long to confirm his election, and that those rejecting his electoral legitimacy have a much broader base than those rejecting Felipe Calderón’s election did in 2006, Peña Nieto perhaps has good reasons to stay out of sight, but the longer he does so, the harder it is for him to project the image of a president.