The Final US Presidential Debate

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    Pamela Starr

    The last presidential debate on October 19 elicited diverse reactions in the media. Leon Krauze of Univision tweeted Trump’s “Such a nasty woman” comment and opined: “Game, set and match”. Karl Rove opened his WSJ column the next day with: “Absent any knockout blow” during the debate. Potentially significantly, the Mexican Peso which has become a bellwether for Trump’s electoral chances, remained largely stable despite Trump’s promise to “terminate NAFTA” if he is elected.

    Was Clinton able to deliver a knockout blow or can Trump still mount a comeback in the remaining time before the election? Is the outcome still up in the air? And what does this mean for the United States, for its bilateral relationship with Mexico, and for Mexicans and Mexican-Americans living in the United States?

    Carlos Ahumada

    The last presidential debate was a KO for Trump. Unlike the others, the format of this debate was much more suitable for the presentation of concrete public policies. Naturally, Clinton looked confident with it, while Trump struggled to project himself as a head of state. Unless something very strange happens, Clinton will be the next US President. Even if we give a margin of error of 10 points in all state polls, Hillary would still be the winner.

    While this scenario may represent a relief for the Mexican Peso, and a promising future for bilateral trade, it is still not clear what other effects may arise. During his administration, President Obama deported more than two million immigrants, more than any other President. Despite the promise of an immigration reform, it is not clear if Hillary Clinton will continue with this trend or not.

    US-Mexico relationship might suffer if President Peña Nieto does not make an effort to approach Clinton before the election day. An offical act of recognition will not have the same effects than a previous encounter. The executive power made a terrible mistake by inviting Trump to Mexico without a confirmation from Clinton as well. Will it have the political skills to revert it?

    Pablo Tortolero

    The majority of polls, as well as the debate itself, suggest that victory if for Hillary to take. Nevertheless, I would not call it a KO. We can only but speculate at this point what her next actions in terms of the bilateral relation will look like, assuming an opposition presence from Trump in the public opinion and the media, let alone the turmoil he would cause by declining to concede. I think we can look at it from two perspectives.

    Some Mexican media outlets have vented the idea that a part of the Mexican political establishment was more than OK in having a Trump presidency, which would confirm the strangeness in the recent Mexican diplomacy and the perhaps discreet State-led counter attack to Trump’s long lasting wave of insults towards Mexico. Ignoring these claims, perhaps the peso and the overall stability of the Mexican economy would be saved in the short term, but only as long as the Northern neighbor does not suffer from any recession or prolonged instability from the election. Also, Mexican integration in the Pacific could suffer a major setback if TPP was halted permanently.

    If instability persists, I do not think a Clinton presidency would heavily pursue an immigration reform. It will only do so when the political cost of postponing it is too heavy to ignore, and we have not yet reached that point.

    In sum, for the time being, what we all think was a win in the debate will possibly mean stability in the short term, slowed by subpar relations between Peña Nieto’s Government and the winner of the election. Yet, we are approaching a point where major actions must be taken to boost a bilateral relation that was, for the past year, characterized by diplomatic blunders and “The Wall”.

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