The Next Republican President Should Take a Hint from Enrique Peña Nieto

Nicholas Casey’s profile of Enrique Peña Nieto, the new Mexican president, gives a sense of the kind of “energy in the executive” U.S. conservatives would like to see in the next GOP president:

Enrique Peña Nieto has revised Mexico’s 40-year-old labor code and its dysfunctional education system. He jailed a union boss once considered untouchable and submitted legislation to attack corruption by stripping away public officials’ immunity from prosecution.

On Monday, he presented to Congress proposals to reform Mexico’s telecommunications sector that would give the government for the first time the power to force asset sales of monopolies and challenge the world’s richest businessman, Carlos Slim, who controls more than 70% of Mexican phones.

Granted, the mix of issues is very different, and I’m sure that at least some of what Nieto is doing is ill-advised. But the speed with which he is attacking various seemingly entrenched barriers to reform is impressive, and it is designed to rally Mexicans around the sense that after drift, Nieto and his allies intend to do the heavy lifting required to put Mexico on a path to robust growth. 

Reihan Salam — Reihan Salam is executive editor of National Review and a National Review Institute policy fellow.

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