Lopez-Obrador's victory in Mexico
Well, the polls were right in Mexico, and Andrés López-Obrador won big!
On Sunday night, I was listening to radio reports from Mexico, and the analysts kept saying corruption and violence were the two big factors behind the landslide.
The problem of institutional corruption, as my Mexican friends call it, is the dividend of 70-plus years of one-party rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). When the National Action Party (PAN) took over in the early years of the century, it was more of the same, despite promises to the contrary.
The violence is more complicated, because it will require a lot more than blaming U.S. consumers for smoking illegal drugs. There are serious "rule of law" and equal justice problems south of the border.
Interestingly, none of the Mexico analysts blamed the results on President Trump, as I'm sure we will hear up north.
My Mexican friend said something like: "Say it ain't so, Mexico." He wants to see how the peso responds. So do I!
So what does this mean for the U.S. and President Trump? Trump wins!
First of all, having a Mexican president who believes that migrants have the right to move around is the worst possible thing that happened to DACA, immigration reform, or anything else. My point is that any chance of legalizing illegal aliens was always based on the assumption that Mexico will cooperate with the U.S. on the border.
To be fair, AMLO's campaign said he was taken out of context in Mexican press reports. They say that he was talking about "inhumane" treatment of migrants, not sending people to the U.S. Maybe, but he did say it!
For years, Mexican presidents have kept a distance from the illegal immigration issue. They were happy to see the remittances coming south but did not publicly encourage anyone to go north.
"Presidente-electo" López-Obrador will have to answer questions about his position about migrants the minute he faces the U.S. media.
Second, AMLO has a weak hand in negotiating with Trump. The U.S. buys Mexican oil, but I'm sure that the Colombians or Canadians would love to change that. The U.S. buys avocados from Mexico, but other countries would love to sell us theirs.
Trump has a strong hand. He could put a fee on remittances and impact the Mexican economy.
Simply said, the U.S. has a stronger hand, and AMLO has to know it.
Finally, having a pro-illegal immigration president in Mexico puts the Democrats in an awful situation. They will have to acknowledge that both borders and immigration laws matter.
So what happens next? Mexico has AMLO, and AMLO has a ton of promises to keep. I don't like his chances at all.