Barack Obama is going to meet today with Felipe Calderón. Plenty of virtual ink will be spilled about the meeting, with all sorts of suggestions about what should be discussed or emphasized.
At this point, I don't think details yet matter. Instead, tone is critical. And there are some good signs. For example, drug trafficking and its associated violence will be front and center, but Obama cannot come off sounding like it is Mexico's responsibility. A "senior aide" had the following to say:
"As worried as we are about the northbound drug trade, we're also worried about the southbound weapons and cash flows that impact the drug war," the adviser said.
Good, and don't forget to mention the people in the U.S. who are buying the drugs.
In addition, I would hope Obama's overall tone reflects acknowledgment of urgency. He has a lot on his plate, and almost certainly has no interest in pushing Mexico up on his list of priorities. But drug-related violence and immigration can no longer be ignored, and also can no longer be treated as something that you just throw fences and guns at.