Trump to visit Mexico's President today

No, not yet!

In general, are both last names used in everyday usage? In conversation? In newspapers, or TV news?

Generally, the full name is used the first time a person is mentioned. For efficiency’s sake, you’d just say President Peña.

ETA: Unless the maternal name is more distinctive. I believe the poet Federico Garcia Lorca is called “Lorca” in the Spanish-speaking world; there are many Garcias. And Spanish explorer Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca preferred “Cabeza de Vaca” to “Nuñez.” Wouldn’t you?

OK, thanks.

Now, back to the Donald.


If I were a betting man, my money is on this not happening.

AP uses “Peña Nieto” for all mentions.

All of a sudden this wall idea doesn’t sound so bad, if we can get it built in a couple of hours.

My imaginary headline was:
Breaking NEWS!

Mexico seizes Trump’s plane for transporting large quantities of illegal amphetamines.

Trump subjected to strip search and is awaiting court hearing in Tijuana jail.

So does Politico. But look at former President Fox’s usage:

(Fox’s paternal grandfather Joseph Louis Fuchs was born in Cincinnati.)

President Peña has criticized Trump in the past & has said Mexico will not build a wall. After the meeting, let us compare his account of what was said with Trump’s.

(One of our news guys this morning said they ought to sell tickets.)

Trump is doing this so he will be able to say “Nieto is my Hispanic.”

My fantasy is that Trump is told the meeting is completely private, but there are six HD cameras set up in the room.
Trump tells the president not to worry - he is just telling his supporters a bunch of crap in order to get votes. There is no way there will be a wall. Trump jokes about what a bunch of idiots his supporters are.

Film is released the next day.

There’s a reason for that: the Spanish press calls him President Peña or Peña Nieto. Peña is a very common name, so by using both surnames you make it easier to identify who you are talking about. There’s only one Presidente Peña, so you can leave out the second surname.

I have a very common given name and first surname, so in public I use just those as a way to keep some anonymity.

And back to Donald’s annexation of the Southenteland…

Oh goody-two sets of lies to look forward to: The ones he will tell the Mexicans, and the ones he will tell us about what he told the Mexicans.

The US press will not be allowed on his plane nor can they get a charter together in time to attend, and even if they get there, his post-meeting news conference will be for Mexican media only, with possible exceptions for friendly outlets like Britebart.

He invited both Trump and Clinton to visit. Seems like a reasonable thing for a neighboring country to do. We have lots of things we need to cooperate on. I think he’s also falling in the polls, so maybe he wants to kick some Yanque Ass in public to boost his image.

He’s got an approval rating in the low twenties to low thirties, depending on which poll you use, so yeah, he’s hurting. Of course, Trump has a two percent approval rating in Mexico (unsurprisingly).

This means that Pena Nieto could potentially get some traction by beating up on Trump, which Trump’s team apparently is not considering. Although it looks to me like really what happened here is that Pena Nieto issued a pro forma invitation to both candidates, and Trump just decided to do this at the last minute. Why he would do this is really not clear to me.

According to a CBC account, Peña invited them both as a matter of form, not actually expecting either to accept, least of all Trump, who Peña has compared to Hitler and Mussolini. The WaPo article cited above even claims that when Trump accepted, Mexican officials tried to discourage the visit.

Right now Peña is getting enormous public backlash over this. The exact time and place of the meeting are being kept secret to try to avoid the expected protesting mobs. There’s a picture of Peña doing a face palm which is undoubtedly an old file photo but it’s probably a very fitting symbol of just how he feels.

So I expect it’s going to be a very uncomfortable meeting held only for the sake of appearances, after which each of them will spin some bland version of how hugely terrific it was with a lot of contradictions between their versions. And back home, Trump will give his planned immigration speech citing how hugely terrifically presidential he is, meeting with national leaders and all, while back in Mexico Peña’s staff try to get the stench of Trump out of the room.

I disagree. I think Trump will most likely benefit from this trip.

First, he’ll get some credit for going to Mexico and facing a hostile audience. It’s a Nixon in Venezuela moment. But the Mexicans aren’t going to actually kill him; it’s a safe illusion of danger.

The Mexicans will yell at him and he’ll talk tough back to them. I’m sure he’s prepared some good one-liners. Meanwhile there’ll be the instinct to back an American who’s being attacked on foreign ground. His followers will eat it up and even some non-followers will take his side.

My prediction Trump get a significant rise in the polls over this. And it’s going to be difficult for Clinton to respond. This is a smart move by Trump as long as he can behave. The biggest danger is he will be himself and somehow screw up the opportunity.

Pena Nieto doesn’t have to tell his constituency the same thing Trump tells his. If he tells Mexico “I said, of course, that we don’t want a big wall and he can waste money on whatever he wants but we won’t pay a penny for it” - a statement which has the benefit of being obviously true - the Mexicans will be satisfied. It doesn’t matter if Trump says something completely different, because Mexicans

  1. Will read/hear Pena Nieto’s comments first, and mostly in their first language, and
  2. Won’t believe Trump, because what Trump says will have no connection at all with the facts.

Pena Nieto has pretty solidly established that he loathes Trump, so it’s not like his saying he told Trump to go to hell would be difficult for anyone to believe.

Given the news that he did not expect Trump to take him up on it and is facing backlash just for accepting the meeting (which is understandable) I am surprised something didn’t “Come up,” if you catch my drift. The President of Mexico is presumably a very busy guy; you don’t run one of the biggest countries in the world as a part time job. He could have come up with any number of plausible excuses to forestall the meeting until never.

Trump will tell his followers Nieto did exactly that. What Trump says at his rallies and in his Twitter feed isn’t related to the facts, and doesn’t have to be. It’s not what he’s selling.

Pena Nieto will tell Mexico he agreed to absolutely nothing of the sort and told Trump off. Mexicans will believe him (aside from the usual doubt all partisan politics instills) because, frankly, there’s no other believable story.

“So, Ricky, how do you say ‘let’s make America great again’ in Mexican?”