When you combine bad internet services and concern at your government trying to screw your business on the flimsiest of grounds, you stay one week without posting. But things are advancing and sooner than I expected it is time for a mini primary vote round up. In no particular order.
Capriles makes his official launch
did his formal electoral launch. Nothing much to report there. I did try to cover the launch like I did the one of Leopoldo Lopez, pulling my strings (and a good one) but apparently PJ does stuff on its own and it did not work out. Too bad because I was in Caracas, in good spirits and thus I would have been able to attend and report on the mood (the content I leave it to the press and press releases).
If I do not mind sitting through a speech when I attend an event I am afraid that watching a video of the event is beyond my energy. The more so that when reading the papers one of the main promises of Capriles is to preserve the best Chavez programs. Huh? There are actually good Chavez programs? (1)
I suppose the point here is that Primero Justicia has decided to lurch decidedly on the "left" to beat Chavez. It works so far in that it gained the support of the left inside la Unidad (PODEMOS; CausaR). And it could well work in October 2012. But in February 2012?
I find Capriles a very acceptable candidate, earnest, hard working, smart on local issues, even though his foreign policy credentials are raw to say the least (Chavez were even rawer you may argue...). If he wins in February I certainly will endorse him without a single hesitation for October. But in February I want to vote for a candidate that is at least able to convey that he grasps the extent of the mess the country is in, even if he switches to a "I love chavistas" for the October show. There is one thing with the electoral positioning, and another thing with gaining the trust in the candidate's ability to face the music.... And I am afraid to say that I do not feel that in Capriles so far.
Still, the man is running now and he went right there to Tachira to pick up the remains of Perez Vivas.
COPEI keeps its slide into oblivion
One does not know what to make of the left overs of COPEI. With three presidential candidates and maybe 5% of the electorate one wondered about any common sense left there. But now that two have withdrawn, one makes even less sense of COPEI whose remaining candidate, Eduardo Fernandez, is a near shoo in for latest place in February.
Earlier this week Cesar Perez Vivas, Tachira governor, finally saw the light and decided to do what is best: return to his state house and work for his reelection which is seriously compromised as the regime wants real, real bad to recover that state next year. It is not that he has lost the state yet, but any longer in his ridicule presidential search was soon going to have an effect. So, considering that he will be back in charge a full year in San Cristobal in what is a mercurial anti Chavez state, all presidential candidates eyes are turned on Perez Vivas to court his support for February. Amusingly, it looks that Perez Vivas can offer more primary votes than COPEI by itself.....
Leopoldo has a good week
While all of these realignments were taking place Leopoldo Lopez received good news from Hinterlaces pollsters. That is, he would be ahead of the race. I doubt it. Apparently the poll was a quickie phone poll and the rise of Leopoldo might be as much a sympathy show for his victory in the Inter Americana Court as Chavez cancer gave him a bounce of sorts in polls. The kind of leads and drops we are seeing a lot of in, say, the GOP primaries.
Still, since Leopoldo has still not managed to get another party endorsement (2) he needs all the help he can. And he is helping himself, boldly going to popular alleged chavista districts of Caracas.
Pablo Perez is stirring
Leopoldo is not the only one in Caracas hot districts, even Pablo Perez is hitting the "barrios" of Caracas. But what he is waiting more is for the endorsement of COPEI and AD which would put the other runners in trouble. But as already reported, the more AD and COPEI wait the more irrelevant their support becomes.... They are waiting too much for their alliances and formal launches as 3 are already running hard, with TV ads even. If by November 1st Pablo Perez is still courting AD, they could well both become toast no matter how much Tal Cual supports him. At this point his lone chance would be for Chavez to allow Leopoldo to run as he splits his votes more with Capriles than with Perez. But I am afraid for him that if Leopoldo is not allowed to run Capriles will have the race pocketed by December....
Note: since Leopoldo has pissed off equally UNT and PJ, he can equally bargain his support with anyone of them. It is the paradox that Chavez and AD attempts at minimizing Leopoldo might turn him into the king maker........
1) We must note that the success of Capriles do not stop chavismo from presenting him as a failure even though his "failures" are due to active sabotage by the regime. But no one will ever accuse chavismo of ethical behavior...
2) When Leopoldo was in Yaracuy last week there were plenty of "Convergencia" banners. Even though it is a near dead movement, its endorsement could carry Yaracuy in the primaries (but certainly not in October). But lo' and behold, Convergencia decided to support Pablo Perez....