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To Find Renewed Relevance, Mexican Left Must Lose López Obrador

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

TORREÓN, Mexico -- The Mexican political class doesn't agree on much, but no one denies that the country's political left today is a hopeless mess. Every day brings a fresh embarrassment, a new descent into the bizarre. The present state of affairs is all the more conspicuous given the heights to which the left rose less than two short years ago. Ironically, the decline can be traced to the very man who almost lifted the left into the presidency.

As 2006 dawned, everything was gangbusters for the darling of the Mexican left, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The ex-mayor of Mexico City enjoyed a double-digit lead in polls for the July presidential election, and seemed poised to join the growing ranks of leftists leading Latin American nations. His party, the Democratic Party of the Revolution (PRD), was likewise optimistic about the future. It had long maintained a stranglehold on Mexico City, and a ride on López Obrador's coattails in the upcoming contests promised unprecedented nationwide success. ...

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