As you probably know, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has invited Donald Trump to a meeting today in Mexico City. It’s hard to fathom Peña Nieto’s motives for this invitation, except maybe to distract attention away from his plagiarism scandal. The Twitter-verse has been having a field day with the news. Here are some of my favorites from this morning (I’m sure there will be more):
ABC, in a news article yesterday, quoted Trump from January saying about Mexico “We send them practically nothing and Mexico is the new China. I hate to say it. The Mexican leaders are so much smarter than our leaders.” There is so much wrong with that statement that it’s hard to know where to start. But it’s even more ironic given the recent news out of Mexico about President Peña Nieto plagiarizing almost one-third of his law thesis.
Here’s the Huffington Post on the scandal, “Of the 682 paragraphs that made up the 200-page thesis, titled ‘Mexican Presidentialism and Alvaro Obregon,’ 197, or 28.9 percent, were found to be plagiarized. In a statement, government spokesman Eduardo Sanchez sought to play down the accusation of plagiarism, instead calling the omissions “style errors.” He added that Peña Nieto met all the requirements needed to graduate as a lawyer from Panamerican University.”
I love the government spokesman’s excuse.* I’ve only seen bits and pieces but as a professor with a lot of experience (unfortunately) of spotting plagiarism, I can assure you that we are not talking about “style errors.” Nice try though. I wonder what the higher-up at Panamerican University think about Sanchez’s last statement now that the plagiarism has been revealed!
Compare that to Obama’s educational pedigree (from Wikipedia): “Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School between 1992 and 2004.”
Now education does not necessarily equal smarts, but Peña Nieto was not exactly very smart in hiding his plagiarism**, so I’d have to give Obama the big advantage between the two.
*To his credit, he has had a lot to deal with lately (click here for the most recent corruption scandal that EPN is facing)
*See this story in the Atlantic for some examples. Perhaps my favorite part is the fact that EPN plagiarized a former Mexican president, Miguel de la Madrid. lol you can’t make this stuff up.