Monday, April 21, 2008

Felipe who? Where?

Photo: Presidencia de la República

Felipe Calderón is making a tradition out of visiting the U.S. when just everyone could care less about it. The last time he was here, the Mexican President visited Chicago, New York--where he devoted 15 minutes of his one-day-long agenda to meet with representatives of the Mexican community there--, Boston and California just one week after Super Tuesday. As you can evoke by clicking here, back then his visit was worth just a tiny but meaningful mention in the Times' city blog--and yes, he was also interviewed by some papers like the WSJ and the Los Angeles Times the days before.

This time Mr. Calderón not just did it again, but did it even better. He, or his team, decided that it'be dead right to come visit President Bush--yet the least American guy you want to see yourself photographed with these days--just one day after Pope Benedict XVI's super successful first visit to the U.S. was over and only 24 hours before the long-awaited Pennsylvania primaries.

Yeah, he could also have chosen Superbowl day, but it was already past due.

In an effort of being nice--not trying hard, really--we can concede that few people could have predicted the media frenzy that surrounded Joseph Ratzinger's American journey. I mean, the Times even devoted a feature to Benedict's love for cats and the Huffington Post went on to joke about the massive Mass at Yankee Stadium last Sunday as it 'revealed' Pope Benedict XVI's demands. But the Pennsylvania primaries? C'mon, carnales.

While Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown met with the three presidential candidates last week on his visit to the U.S., Calderón had enough or could only meet with President Bush--and Juan Camilo Mouriño, Mexico's Ministry of Interior, with HSD's head Michael Chertoff. Needless to say, Britain is the U.S. ultimate ally but, shouldn't Mexico be considered one as well, for instance?

Whether Calderón is reading the news of this side of the fence or not, he should get his hands on anticipating how his administration will deal with the decline in remittances to Mexico. He and the right wing conservatives who support him may try to do whatever they can to reorganize Pemex á la mode, but hey, they cannot order millions of Mexican immigrants to send money back to su país to maintain an static economy just because they need it. Not anymore.

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