The four candidates for Mexicos presidency officially launched their campaigns for the July 1 election on Friday, all of them promising change. Enrique Pena Nieto, who is running for the Institutional Revolutionary Party that ruled Mexico from 1929 to 2000, used the word “change” 26 times in his first official campaign speech. “Mexico is clear on what it wants, and it doesnt want more of the same,” Pena Nieto declared in the western city of Guadalajara. “It wants to exit this stage of shadow and darkness and enter a new stage of light and hope. “Pena Nietos focus on “a grand crusade for change” and “the change we want” echoed the 2008 campaign slogan of President Barack Obama, “change we can believe in.” It was unclear whether that echo was intentional.
The Obama campaigns skillful use of social media in 2008, when it employed email, text messages and the Web to reach voters, appears to have made an impact on the Mexican political scene. Josefina Vazquez Mota, whose pre-campaign appearances have been plagued by logistical difficulties and poor planning, told supporters Friday to use social media, “this new world that accompanies us,” to attract potential voters.