Wednesday, February 1, 2012

There Are No Scandals in Peña Nieto's World

As with all the past missteps, the revelation that he had a child out of wedlock has had little effect on the support for Enrique Peña Nieto. Sixty-nine percent of those who were aware of the charges basically dismissed their relevance to the presidential race, according to a new BGC poll. That may change once people are paying more attention to the race, and perhaps the most striking thing is that people were largely unaware of the infidelity story. In this case, the widespread dismissal is also logically correct and shows admirable maturity, even if it strikes me as unusual, child of the Clinton years that I am. But when you start comparing Peña Nieto's merits and advantages to his scandals and drawbacks, it's hard not to wonder if a crash is around the corner.


Richard said...

The U.S. is a lot more puritanical about a lot of things, Illegitimate children are almost assumed among Latin America's rich and powerful. It was joked about 1950s President Adolfo Ruiz Cortines that he was so proper, even his mistress was respectable.

There was some scandal when Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo fessed up to having an out-of-wedlock child, but that's because Lugo had been a Roman Catholic Bishop at the time, and there was a considerable age difference between him and the child's mother. Even so, the only ones shocked by all that were the political opposition, which was going to be shocked by anything the guy did about anything anyway.

And Paraguay is famously backwards... how this will play in Mexico, with an active women's and human rights movement (and a good number of Protestant voters)is anybody's guess.

Not to defend EPN, but monogamy has always been somewhat optional, especially among the upper class, and -- sexist as it is -- seen as a perogative of power.

pc said...

Yeah no question that there is a sense of 'Yeah whatever' about it. Lots of people are personally acquainted with similar situations. That was I think pretty close to the surface in even the ways the questions in the poll were phrased. I think with all the issues with EPN, all of them, this one included, have been kinda embarrassing but none disqualifying for a huge chunk of the electorate, which is probably a big part of why he's still so far out in front despite the stumbles.