The probability of a victory for the Morena candidate in the presidential election in Mexico is so high that it is not surprising that the insistent question that runs through the corridors of power and fuels the after-dinner conversations of Mexicans: who is Claudia Sheinbaum? and what to expect from it? The response of the militants is automatic: demonize or beatify, depending on the side they join. The reality is elsewhere, of course.
From the outset, it is evident that those who simplify the matter by assuming that she is a puppet figure of López Obrador do not know her. They remind me of those who swore that the day this president took office the peso and finances would collapse; It took them half a six-year term to understand that that was not going to happen. It would be wise not to get carried away by the easy label again.
Claudia Sheinbaum is the commitment to continuity, without a doubt. She also assumes this; It is a political and electoral strategy, but also a conviction. She shares the flags raised by the founder of the movement and her loyalty and admiration for López Obrador’s achievements and career is genuine. But she also understands that she has the responsibility of building walls and finishes on the black work carried out in this six-year term. López Obrador himself assumes that this task corresponds to his replacement, and for some time now he has had no doubt who that replacement would be. Time and again the president has indicated that what is most likely coming is a shift towards the center (expressed exactly in those words), a more modern and less confrontational style, although with the same social commitment in favor of the poor.
A kind of “complicity” has been woven between López Obrador and Claudia Sheinbaum, born from the mutual understanding of what they share and what differentiates them. It’s not exactly the relationship that might exist between a father proud to have his DNA living on in a son, polished and honed by a more refined education and better opportunities; but it would help to understand it. In a way, a disciple whose tutor is aware that, due to origin, training and even temperament, she will be able to take the work to a next, expanded and enriched stage.
During the campaign, let’s not expect any frontal distinctions from Claudia regarding AMLO. In the first instance out of respect, and not just for obvious electoral strategy. I have no doubt that Sheinbaum differs on more than a couple of fundamental issues with what she has done so far, and surely she would have come up with ideas with which she agrees in other ways. But these differences are minor, although addressable at the time, compared to the respect and admiration that the founder’s work deserves.
To illustrate it, two significant moments. One, López Obrador did everything possible to avoid a break with Marcelo Ebrard and, consequently, Claudia entered into conciliatory talks that left behind the beatings and insults of the pre-campaign. Marcelo took advantage of the situation to report his permanence in the Worker Party, although in a defiant tone: “We are the second force in Morena and we want to be treated accordingly” (read in the distribution of seats and seats). A few hours later, Claudia released a video with a blunt statement: here there are no second forces, no personal currents, there is a single movement and leadership (hers). She could swear that far from being irritated, the president went to bed that night proud of his relief.
Two, the announcement of Claudia Sheinbaum’s work teams. The campaign is less significant because it addresses unity and the immediate political operation, although the recovery of Tatiana Clouthier stands out. More indicative is the team destined to define the government plan. First, the evident plurality of its members: Juan Ramón de la Fuente, Javier Corral, Arturo Zaldívar, Gerardo Esquivel, Omar García Harfuch, Rosaura Ruiz, Olga Sánchez Cordero, Susana Harp and another half dozen prestigious professionals in their field, although less acquaintances. Second, highlight that, without being alien to the workshop, they do not belong to the first circle; In fact, several of them at one time or another were “released” by the president. Third, there are no members of the so-called ultras or traditional leftist tribes. Fourth, the representation of middle and academic sectors, particularly from UNAM, is evident.
Some critics have pointed out that this is a list of names intended to sell the notion that Claudia is a moderate candidate; a purely electoral staging. Nothing in the campaign is neutral, certainly. And, of course, it is not a cabinet in the making, since many of the members of what will be the definitive team today work in the Government of the Federation and the City.
But in my opinion this call reveals much more depth. Claudia did not grow up in the opposition, nor since her grievance, she has fundamentally been a high-level cadre of the Public Administration, but half of her life has been spent in the academy. Her vision of her world is that of a modern left, with a non-doctrinaire scientific background, someone with a realistic nature who makes decisions essentially based on data, aware of the international context or the market system in which we live. She understands that transfers and subsidies are a necessary palliative and an ethical mandate, and she will continue to do so, but she knows that the only way to respond to the demand of the majority left behind lies in the creation of millions of jobs with a living wage. And that will only be possible through a constructive relationship with economic actors, inside and outside the country.
It seems to me that an interesting attempt is underway to recover the best of the 4T in its first version, and with it make a second, more refined and inclusive one. Through pushes and pulls, López Obrador managed to displace the elites from the National Palace, made us confront realities that could not be postponed, and paved the way in the struggle under difficult conditions and with ambivalent results. Sheinbaum will seek to consolidate, modernize and, above all, add to so many who, for one reason or another, are alien to this objective that should be everyone’s: the well-being of the majority. Or, to continue with the simile of the building: Claudia understands that she has received the privilege and responsibility of continuing the vast work begun, that no other would have been able to carry out the ambitious network of foundations and castles, but she also assumes that now it is her turn. she would put up walls and that, in doing so, could even correct more than one inherited ditch. She does not intend to change the plan of the building, but rather adjust the arrangement of doors and windows. And for light effect, ventilation and transparency, that will make a difference.
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