Monday, October 16, 2006

Mexico election: AMLO and his PRD -- slowly twisting, twisting in the wind

Andrés Manuel López Obrador -- AMLO -- is from the state of Tabasco. He is revered as a near saint in that poor southeastern Mexican state. It was from Tabasco that he launched his presidential aspirations which he so bitterly watched crash and burn in July.

Now, AMLO has been abandoned by his own people.

AMLO spent the past 3 weeks on his home turf campaigning desperately to salvage the gubernatorial election for his PRD candidate, César Raúl Ojeda. And he was not alone. He was joined in the state by just about everybody who is anybody in the PRD, save Cuahtemoc Cárdenas, the grand old man of the PRD who has no use for AMLO.

Campaigning alongside AMLO were Leonel Cota Montaño, PRD National Director; Guadalupe Acosta, Secretary General of the PRD; Gerardo Fernández Noroña, national spokeman for the PRD; PRD Senate Coordinator Carlos Navarrete; Mexico City Coordinator Víctor Hugo Círigo; the PRD's representatives in the IFE (federal election institute) as well as various PRD Senators and Congressmen.

Ojeda was crushed yesterday by the candidate of the formerly hated PRI, Andrés Granier Melo. It looks like Granier has defeated AMLO's guy by at least 10 points and maybe as many as 14 and that would have to be considered a landslide victory or a humiliating defeat, depending upon your political persuasion.

From what I have been able to glean, it looks like AMLO has tried to take control of the PRD party in the much same manner that the caciques (despots) controlled the PRI (and probably still do) for so many decades. He has been accused of foisting an unpopular candidate on his formerly loyal supporters in Tabasco and running roughshod over state and local PRD officials. He is accused of using the infamous "dedazo" -- literally, "the tap", or the method by which a Mexican PRI president historically has tapped, or chosen, his successor.

PRD national officials lost no time in declaring that the Tabasco results would not affect AMLO's national standing. Right. This would be akin to Teddy Kennedy investing 3 weeeks of his precious time campaigning tirelessly throughout Massachusetts for his hand picked Democratic candidate and then seeing the Rev. Jerry Falwell get elected governor by a result of 55 to 45. Or, better, President George Bush moving to Texas and campaigning all over the state for his Republican gubernatorial choice and then watching in horror as the Rev. Al Sharpton got elected Texas governor, 57 to 43. It just couldn't happen.

But it has.

Perhaps the Tabasco state PRI director has said it best:
AMLO is just like an elephant. He came home to his own land to die.

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