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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06MEXICO466
2006-01-27 22:24:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Mexico
Cable title:  

CALDERON'S CAMPAIGN KICK-OFF

Tags:   MX  PGOV 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO4903
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #0466/01 0272224
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 272224Z JAN 06
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8554
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 000466 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/27/2016
TAGS: MX PGOV
SUBJECT: CALDERON'S CAMPAIGN KICK-OFF

Classified By: Political Minister-Counselor Leslie A. Bassett, Reasons:
1.4 (B/D)



1. (U) Summary. National Action Party (PAN) presidential
candidate Felipe Calderon kicked off his campaign on January
19 in the State of Mexico, where he focused his message on
rule of law, values, and economic growth. Calderon will
launch a weekly one-hour radio program over the weekend and
an internet-radio program next week. PRD candidate Andres
Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) still leads the three major
candidates in the polls, but Calderon's numbers are still
consistently climbing. Several positions within Calderon's
campaign remain unfilled. End Summary.

Campaign Kick-off


--------------------------





2. (U) Calderon kicked off his campaign on January 19 in
front of 14,000 supporters at the Toreo de Cuatro Caminos
stadium in the State of Mexico where he debuted his new
campaign slogan "Valor y pasion por Mexico" (Courage and
passion for Mexico). While the PAN is the only one of the
three major parties that did not form an alliance with one of
the smaller parties, Calderon asked all Mexicans to join him
in a "winning alliance" that will work to find a solution to
Mexico's problems. Throughout the first week of his
campaign, from meetings with business leaders to taxi
drivers, Calderon's message focused on rule of law, values,
and economic growth.



3. (C) On January 28 Calderon will launch a weekly one-hour
radio program that will air at the same time as President
Fox's radio show "Fox Contigo". Calderon hired the same
producers who set up Fox's program in 2000. The producers,
who no longer work on Fox's program, are PAN supporters and
will be paid only production costs. On February 1 the same
producers will launch an internet-radio program that will run
live campaign events, campaign and party propaganda, and
cultural information 24 hours a day. PAN officials told
Poloff that they plan to use the internet to reach an
important demographic - young, first-time voters who, due to
their age, do not connect with Calderon's message that a vote
for the PRI or the PRD is a vote for the old, corrupt ways of
Mexico.



4. (C) In a series of polls taken between January 12 and
January 16, and released on January 19, PRD candidate Andres
Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) still leads the three major
candidates but his numbers have decreased over the last few
months. Calderon is still consistently climbing in the
polls, but trails AMLO by anywhere from 6 to 12 points,
depending on the poll. PAN officials point out that both
AMLO and PRI candidate Roberto Madrazo are well-known
political figures and that, given their public roles over the
past three years, most Mexicans have already formed opinions

about them. Since Calderon is a relative newcomer, the PAN
believes as the percentage of Mexicans who know who he is
grows, so will the percentage of Mexicans who support him in
the polls. PAN officials also stressed that a large
percentage of AMLO's support comes from swing voters, instead
of from party loyalists, which means Calderon, with the right
campaigning strategies, could steal their votes.

Campaign Organization


--------------------------





5. (C) While Calderon's campaign went through a
reorganization period during the month-long "tregua" which
ended on January 18, most notably adding former Secretary of
Social Development Josefina Vasquez Mota as campaign policy
coordinator, several positions within the campaign still
remain unfilled. PAN members told Embassy officials weeks
ago that Senator and PAN Secretary of International Relations
Cecilia Romero will be named Calderon's Foreign Policy
Advisor, but Calderon is stalling on making the appointment
official. Senator Romero told Poloff on January 23 that
Calderon is uncertain if he wants to name a party official to
the position or someone linked more closely to the campaign.



6. (C) PAN officials state that the 9-person classified
committee that was established to direct campaign strategy
and provide better coordination between party officials and
Calderon's campaign officials was dissolved. Campaign
strategy is now decided by the PAN's strategic committee,
which meets every Monday morning, and appears to be made up
of some of the same players as the 9-person classified
committee including PAN Secretary of Elections Arturo Garcia
Portillo and Josefina Vasquez Mota. In an attempt to better
coordinate efforts between Calderon's campaign and the party,
the PAN gave two high-level party positions to Calderon
advisors. Calderon supporter Cesar Nava was named Assistant
Secretary General and spokesperson of the PAN, while Deputy

SIPDIS
German Martinez Cazeres was named PAN representative to the

MEXICO 00000466 002 OF 002


Federal Electoral Institute (IFE).



7. (C) On January 25, WHA/MEX Deputy Director Richard Sanders
asked PAN officials about the role of disaffected PRI-member
and teacher's union leader Ester Elba Gordillo in Calderon's
campaign. PAN Director of International Relations Rolando
Garcia stated the Gordillo will not have a public role in the
campaign, as PAN officials determined her image could do more
harm than good. Garcia emphasized that Gordillo's support
for Roberto Campa, Nueva Alianzas's presidential candidate,
positively affects the PAN as she is helping to shift votes
from the PRI, a major player in the election, to Nueva
Alianza, a small party with no chance of winning the
presidency.



8. (C) Comment: Despite a clear, consistent message at all
of his campaign events thus far, Calderon's campaign got off
to a rough start as he could not fill all the venues at which
he spoke and he canceled two days of events when he lost his
voice. It is also surprising that the month-long "tregua"
was not enough time to appoint all of his advisors and
organize his team, although it is possible the delays are due
to infighting between party and campaign officials.


Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity

GARZA