(Op-Ed) So, Who's the Mexican President?
Updated: Jan 24
Contributor: Constantine Hatzis
Recently Amy Klobuchar, former candidate in the DNC primaries, could not successfully name the Mexican president, even though she is a U.S. senator in charge of the committee overseeing trades with Mexico and was running to be our president; furthermore, neither could former candidate billionaire Tom Steyer name the Mexican president. Additionally, Senator Amy Klobuchar was given a second opportunity to name the Mexican president, in hopes of redeeming herself. Unfortunately, she mispronounced his first name as “Andre” instead of “Andres”, though the applauding crowd hardly cared.
Now some Americans may still not know who the president of Mexico is. He is Andrés Manuel López Obrador, which is pronounced as [anˌdɾes maˈnwel ˈlopes oβɾaˈðoɾ], and has been serving his nation since 2018.
He was born in Tepetitan, which is in the south-eastern state of Tabasco. In 1986 Obrador graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM) in which he received his bachelors in political science. Beginning his political career in 1976 as a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in Tabasco, in which he became the state party president in 1983. He left the party in 1988 and joined the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) and was the party's 1994 candidate for Governor of Tabasco. Later on, he was the national leader of the PRD between 1996 and 1999. In 2000, he was elected Head of Government of Mexico City, a position he held until 2005, when he quit so he can try to become PRD’s presidential nomination.
Running under populist and nationalist policies, Obradors was well received during his time as head of Mexico City’s government. In 2012 López Obrador ran again as the PRD’s candidate for the presidency. This time, finished second to the PRI’s Enrique Peña Nieto. Soon afterward, left the PRD and in 2014 he founded the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), which he led until 2017. The third time proved to be the charm for Lopez Obrador, as he was a candidate for the third time in the 2018 presidential election. This time, he won in a landslide victory, taking 53 percent of the vote. His election marked the first time in nearly 90 years that the Mexican president had not been elected from either the PRI or the PAN, meaning that the candidate won that was not from the two main parties. He ran on the policies of increases in financial aid for 11 million students, doubling the pension for the elderly, trying to close the country’s wealth gap, an amnesty for nonviolent drug criminals, construction of 100 universities, and universal access to public colleges, ending the war on drugs and the legalization of some drugs like marijuana, as well as decentralizing the executive cabinet, and negotiating the NAFTA trade deal. He will be president until 2024 as the term for each president is 6 years.