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Clowns on the campaign trail…

28 May 2006

Mexico has always had it’s masked heros — Zorro… el Santo… Marcos… Brozo the Clown. Behind the clown makeup is Victor Trujillo, a sharp-witted political reporter. As Brozo, he can grill newsmakers, and even insult them, with impunity. Hey, it’s only a clown act. If Steven Colbert stopped dressing like a Fox newscaster, and more like Harpo Marx, you’d have a gringo version of Brozo.

Brozo is an important opinion-maker, and the politicians know it. Marta Fox, when she had presidential ambitions of her own, uised an apearance on Brozo’s show to present herself as a legitimate candidate. When the Fox administration wanted to discredit AMLO’s administration in Mexico City, there was no better way than to ambush a hapless City administration hack with videotapes of him stuffing cash in his pockets (campaign contributions, he claimed) — on the morning clown show.

Don’t mess with the clown.

Felipe Calderón has been leading in the polls, but his lead has been slipping. The latest Indemerc-Harris poll (Diario de Yucatán) showed him only 3.07 percentage points ahead of AMLO (Calderón 35.98; AMLO 32.91; Madrazo 23.90) . The pollsters had to take the unusual step of explaining that the 3.07% difference between the two front-runners was still outside the margin of error.

The poll was taken last week. Calderón faced Brozo this week. Brozo, who is normally a spokesman for conservatives (I once wrote that another political clown act, Rush Limbaugh isn’t nearly as funny or artistic), had the temerity to ask the “wrong questions” — specifically whether Calderón benefitted from the mess created by FOBAPROA, which was supposed to reorganize the banks — and, incidentally, enriched career politicans involved in the sale of Mexican banks to foreign owners. Asking the question hurt… the most Calderón can do is claim it was the previous PRI adminstration’s fault. and so, Brozo’s under attack from the PANista blogsphero… one more sign that the election is swinging back to AMLO.

It looks like the attempts to tie AMLO to the Atenco riots are a bust. The Zapatistas (who attack AMLO as too bougeois) and the PRI adminstration in Mexico State are the obvious culprits in everyone’s mind… Dick Morris and Rob Allyn negative campaigns notwithstanding. As it is, Calderón was whining that a court ruling against negative campaigns was a violation of free speech — though he’s still free to make negative ads, but not with public funds.

And… AMLO’s campaign has been on an upswing. He doesn’t need to say a thing about immigration — thanks to the U.S. Congress and Fox’s unsuccessful trip to the U.S. — all he has to do is show up at the border — something only Patricia Mercado (and she doesn’t expect to get more than 2.5% of the national vote) had the cojones to do.

With Manuel Bartlett defecting to AMLO and the PRI in the middle of another purge (Bartlett and pro-PAN PRI leaders have been stripped of their party membership. Bartlett was a former Secretary of Energy, and one time PRI presidentialable), it looks as if Bartlett is right — the PRI is never going to be a major party… and it certainly will never be the party of the left (Bartlett’s problems with his own party have always been with it’s tecnocratic wing).

AND… in my informal “count the message board numbers” poll, AMLO’s comments on Immigration (“Fox put on a show, but nothing happened”) generated 127 comments; Calderón’s “FOBAPROA wasn’t my fault” got 54; and Madrazo’s “Well, maybe the immigration situation isn’t so bad” only garnered 7 responses.

Extreme right-wingers used to write off AMLO as a “clown”. They forgot about Brozo. Clowns can be serious threats.

One Comment leave one →


  1. Aztec Food

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