Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Zedillo Contributions

On the flight back from Mexico I sat next to a businessman in his late 30s who was on his way to China and then to Israel. We spoke a bit about the discussion I had had the night before and the morning of the flight (in Si, Entonces) and then he made a couple of comments with which I agree. First, he said that Fox's predecessor should get more credit than he does. Zedillo had all the personality of a cold dish of oatmeal - but in several key spots he took the right decision. For example, when the Federal Elections Commission had the chance to mess with the election - through a PRI plot - he said no. In essence - let a real election take place. While the stability of the peso was nothing close to what it has been in this administration - at several places he took the long term view of what was right to do. Thus, you got an unexciting politician - a technocrat - who had an unexciting but appropriate long term view of his role. Zedillo made some brave decisions when he had to - I remember on New Year's 2000 watching him and his family on Univision waving to the crowd in the plaza in Mexico City and thinking how boring a guy could this be. But in this case the boring guy was the right person for the job. Second, he said he thought the country might be ready and sophisticated enough to take a serious look at another boring candidate. That might be Creel or it might be someone else among the secondary contenders.

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