president lopez obrador’s mañaneras (in english)

last week, in a wall street journal article, david luhnow reported on an interesting aspect of andrés manuel lopez obrador‘s presidency.

amlo at a mañanera

president andrés manuel lopez obrador fields questions every morning (cuartoscuro)

the headline and summary say…

Think U.S. Politics Is Exhausting? Mexico’s President Has a News Conference Every Morning.

in his one-man show at 7 a.m. sharp, andrés manuel lópez obrador fields softball questions and talks…and talks…and talks.

exhausting is tiring. exhausting and tiring should be used to describe situations that generate fatigue. one-man show indicates that lopez obrador is the only person talking most of the time. sharp means that he starts exactly at 7 a.m. field means answer. softball means the questions are easy. the implied comparison is between baseball and slow-pitch softball. though it’s not really soft, a softball is bigger and much easier to hit than a baseball.

a batter hitting a softball. the batter represents president lopez obrador & the softball represents the easy questions reporters ask him at the mañaneras

hitting a softball

to ensure that the softball questions keep coming…

journalists who ask tough questions often get attacked on social media by the president’s followers or heckled by supporters at the mañanera. mr. lópez obrador has denied he is behind the intimidation, but in april he told journalists: “if u step out of line, u know what will happen. but it won’t be me, it’s the people.”

tough means difficult. heckle is interrupt or abuse verbally. deny means lopez obrador says he didn’t do it. step out of line means behave inappropriately.

politicians are frequently heckled. (ap)

in classic mexican style…

the event is popularly dubbed “la mañanera,” which is mexican slang for a morning sexual encounter.

slang is informal language. dubbed means named. the verb dub is used in the chorus of the unforgiven by metallica

never free, never me
so i dub thee unforgiven

thee is an antiquated way to say u.

according to the article, lopez obrador makes an average of six false statements per news conference. for example..

he boasted that formal job creation in the january-march period increased at a pace not seen in 10 years, when in fact [it] was the lowest since 2014, according to local think tank mexico cómo vamos.

boast means talk about with pride. pace is velocity, speed. the lowest is a superlative; the limit at the bottom in this case. a think tank analyzes and proposes policy.

president obama being heckled about his deportation policy

the pace of the mañanera is slooow.

luhnow explains that during the mañaneras lopez obrador emphasizes the same message he is well-known for…

throughout, one theme is constant: the president was elected to lead the country out of a dark period of neoliberal economic policies like privatizations that protected a corrupt and conservative elite at the expense of mexico’s good and honest people. it is a message that resonates in a country with one of the world’s highest gaps between rich and poor.

throughout means the whole time. was elected is passive voice in the past: was is an auxiliary, elected is a past participle and the public that elected lopez obrador is not mentioned. resonate means there are many people in mexico who agree with it. the highest is another superlative. it is the opposite of the lowest. a gap is a difference.

lopez obrador’s message resonates with many mexicans. (reforma)

the article lists some of the actions lopez obrador has taken…

as part of his populist appeal, he cut his own salary by half, and slashed the wages of most other top officials as well. he is selling the presidential plane, a new boeing 787-8 dreamliner, and travels economy on commercial flights. he opened up the former presidential residence to visitors, allowing more than a million mexicans to walk its gilded halls.

as means in that capacity. appeal refers to why amlo’s supporters like him. slash means reduce significantly. wages are like salaries, but are usually paid hourly or daily rather than monthly or annually. as well means also. open up means make accessible for more people. former means previous. gilded means covered in gold.

gilded age poster from pbs history series
the end of the 19th century was known as ‘the gilded age’ in the u.s. it was characterized by industrial prosperity and economic disparity. the equivalent in mexico was the porfiriato. (pbs.org)

in answer to a recent question about the international monetary fund (imf) lowering its growth estimate for mexico this year, the president blasted (severely criticized) multilateral organizations

with all due respect, those organizations were the ones that imposed neoliberal economic policies that did so much damage to mexico. i think they should apologize to the people of mexico..

other examples of multilateral organizations are the world trade organization (wto) and the united nations (un). with all due respect usually precedes words of criticism or disagreement. apologize is ask forgiveness, say that u are sorry. lopez obrador has also asked the catholic church and the king of spain to apologize for their conquest and colonization of mexico.

meme of a cowboy hat and the texas flag. the text reads--when a texan says:

not only in texas. it’s true almost everywhere.
luhnow’s final observation about lopez obrador’s wordy mañaneras is that…

one of the few topics that leave [amlo] tongue-tied is mexico’s sometimes-rocky relationship with the u.s. president.

rocky means difficult. tongue-tied means speechless, unable to speak. it’s also the title of this famous song by grouplove.

do u have an opinion about amlo’s mañaneras? do u enjoy listening to his speeches/press conferences? share your thoughts under leave a reply


 

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