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A mere youth?

4 July 2012

Reading the foreign press about Enrique Peña Neito, there’s there’s this continual meme that he is young and dynamic.  In a piece for the New York Times, published under his name, the age theme is repeated:

To those concerned about a return to old ways, fear not. At 45, I am part of a generation of PRI politicians committed to democracy.

Maybe 45 is the new 30, as in don’t trust anyone over… but besides not really reassuring anyone that he is somehow committed to a “new” PRI, he is not really young for a Mexican President.  The presidents since the Revolution, and the ages at which they assumed officer were:

Francisco Madero. 37
Pedro Lascuráin 57
Victoriano Huerta 63
Francisco Carvajal 43
Venustiano Carranza 55
Adolfo de la Huerta 39
Álvaro Obregón 40
Plutarco Élias Calles 47
Emilio Portes Gil 50
Pascal Ortiz Rubio 53
Abelardo Rodriquez 43
Lazaro Cardenas 39
Manuel Ávila Camacho 43
Miguel Alemán 46
Adolfo Ruíz Cortines 62
Adolfo López Mateos 48
Gustavo Díaz Ordaz 47
Luis Echeverría 48
José López Portillo 56
Miguel de la Madrid 48
Carlos Salinas de Gortari 40
Ernesto Zedillo 41
Vicente Fox 58
Felipe Calderón 44

The average is a little under 48 years of age.  Take out Pedro Lascaráin (who was only President for 45 minutes until Huerta assumed office), Victoriano Huerta, and Francisco Carvajal (who lasted four weeks after Huerta fled the country) — none of them elected presidents —  and the average is 46 years old… (I suppose you could also take out the 50 year old Emilio Portes Gil — who was chosen by the Chamber of Deputies to replace the 48 year old president-elect Alvaro Obregón after his assassination, but it really wouldn’t change the average).

Peña Neito’s 46th birthday is later this month (the 20th, if you want to send a card… or better yet, ask him for an Soriana Card), so  fear not…  at the worst, in at least in one thing, he be an average President.

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