Mexican president finally allowed to fly

FILE; RICARDO HERNANDEZ/AFP/Getty Felipe Calderón has finally earned his wings. This week’s trip to New York for the U.N. General Assembly marks the first time the Mexican president has been able to use his presidential jet without getting congressional approval, a task that has proven tough at times for Calderón and his predecessor, Vicente Fox, ...

592438_080923_calderon5.jpg
592438_080923_calderon5.jpg

FILE; RICARDO HERNANDEZ/AFP/Getty

Felipe Calderón has finally earned his wings.

This week's trip to New York for the U.N. General Assembly marks the first time the Mexican president has been able to use his presidential jet without getting congressional approval, a task that has proven tough at times for Calderón and his predecessor, Vicente Fox, who saw planned trips to Canada, the United States, Vietnam, and Australia nixed back when he was in office.

FILE; RICARDO HERNANDEZ/AFP/Getty

Felipe Calderón has finally earned his wings.

This week’s trip to New York for the U.N. General Assembly marks the first time the Mexican president has been able to use his presidential jet without getting congressional approval, a task that has proven tough at times for Calderón and his predecessor, Vicente Fox, who saw planned trips to Canada, the United States, Vietnam, and Australia nixed back when he was in office.

Although Calderón has been able to fly problem-free to more than 25 countries in the past 20 months, his relationship with Mexico’s Congress — where his party is in the minority — hasn’t been rosy. The president’s razor-thin victory in 2006 put him at odds with opposition lawmakers from day one, and a recent frenzy of drug-related killings in Mexico hasn’t made him the most popular leader around. Things are so bad that, earlier this month, he got approval to give his annual address to Congress as a document rather than having to enter the chambers and give it as a speech.

Perhaps the new jet rules are a conciliatory move on Congress’s part to help Calderón boost Mexico’s image overseas, which certainly hasn’t been improved by the recent crime wave or by falling oil production. Now, at least poor Felipe won’t have to feel like a kid asking his parents for permission to play down the street. That’s got to be pretty demoralizing for a president.

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