Nathaniel Parish Flannery is a Latin America focused political analyst and writer, who splits his time between New York City and Mexico City. His book, “Searching For Modern Mexico”, was published in 2019. He is also a collaborator for Forbes.com, and he recently came up with an article on how AMLO has not been able to comply with the expectations most people had on him…
Most days he acts like a humble city sparrow but when it comes to political discourse Mexico’s president is no ordinary bird.
Elected in 2018 in an environment of widespread popular frustration with disappointing economic growth, out of control crime and violence, and a perception of pervasive corruption, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador promised to transform Mexico, clamp down on political malfeasance, and re-build the country’s struggling rural communities.
Unfortunately, more than a year after his election, Lopez Obrador is still just spooling out complicated narratives about the future he promises to build. He contradicts himself and stumbles as he explains the details of his policy agenda. Lopez Obrador is a skilled orator and a disastrous communicator.
Like his counterpart to the north, Donald Trump, he continues to hold campaign-rally style events for members of his base. Lopez Obrador seems most comfortable when speaking to communities in Mexico’s under-developed and often over-looked south.
Given the time and space to expand his wings, Lopez Obrador soars, word by word, sentence by sentence, he circles higher and higher, carrying his audience along, articulating a comprehensive vision of what Mexico can and should be.
On his own terms, unprovoked by critics, unchallenged by analysts, Lopez Obrador is a masterful speaker, majestic even, like the eagle that sits at the center of Mexico’s flag.
Caged in under the bright lights at his daily early morning press conferences, however, Lopez Obrador seems trapped and defensive, and too often finds his feathers ruffled. Preening, he feigns a stance of propriety. He clucks out under-handed insults at his rivals and critics.