Although his term doesn't expire until Dec. 1, President Vicente Fox and his wife Marta Sahagun, who critics sarcastically contend probably wields as much influence as her husband, have now started promoting themselves as public speakers on the lucrative ex-world-leaders' speaking circuit. Their profiles already appear on the Henry Walker Agency (HMA) Web site.
No fees for the pair's services were given, but in glowing profiles, HMA describes Fox as "a charismatic reformer," who went from "deliveryman to CEO of Coca-Cola" and "succeeded in controlling inflation and interest rates, and in achieving the lowest unemployment rate in all of Latin America."
Keeping with a focus on the president's business background, it somewhat curiously states, "Under Fox, Coca-Cola surpassed Pepsi as Mexico's top-selling soft drink." (Pepsi once outsold Coke in Mexico?)
Coca-Cola has always sold well in Mexico and despite a rash of upstarts - most notably Big Cola - it's still selling very well. (The average Mexican guzzles 148.1 liters of cola each year; Coca-Cola currently owns 60 percent of the market.) As for topics, Fox is available to speak on "Surveying the Geo-Political Landscape" and "Bringing the New Economy to Latin America." The Web site summarizes the latter speech as:
In this address, President Fox discusses his businesses-centered approach to the development of Mexico, the future of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the opportunities available for international corporations in the region. A critic of the populist movements sweeping Central and South America, President Fox offers an alternative that should be heard by everyone concerned with the future of the hemisphere.
Sahagun, whose profile reads, "(She) has dedicated her life to public service and to fostering social investment and responsibility," will speak on "Social Responsibility in the 21st Century." It made no mention of her sons and their supposed business skills. Once again, the First Lady cashes in on her proximity to power.
Fox should find this new role a natural; even critics acknowledge he's a brilliant speaker and campaigner - even if his political skills are lacking. Some what ironically, President-elect Felipe Calderon said in today's Milenio that he's looking for cabinet members possessing political skills. That would certainly omit Fox - if he were looking for a post.