Peña Nieto has painted himself as a leader of the new PRI — shaped by and dedicated to Mexico’s relatively new democracy.

In the first of two campaign appearances in Tijuana on Sunday, the candidate addressed thousands of supporters, mostly women, in the city’s downtown. Some threw rose petals over him as he walked through the crowd to the podium.

There, he laid out a 10-point plan for his vision of a “new” democratic Mexico...

As most politicians do, when running for governor Peña Nieto pledged to carry out a series of public works and reforms. During his time in office, he actually checked off each pledge as it was fulfilled.

“So he’s made a name for himself as promising things and delivering those things, and being a pretty effective governor,” said Eric Olson from the Washington-based Mexico Institute, part of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

The other, dominant image of Peña Nieto, Olson said, is that of the young, dapper, pretty boy who suffered a family tragedy — his first wife died in 2007 — and has since remarried a popular soap opera star.

Both of these images contribute to the candidate’s celebrity status...

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