[UPDATED] The good thing about this post is that it will be short. Lopez did what he had to do, be firm, focused, with a vision. No matter how hard the Ciudadano tried (I do not think he tried that hard), Leopoldo remained focused.
In short Lopez went on a lengthy explanation on his "security" proposal, trying to make it not to sound too right wing by including, adequately, that increased security of all will also pour its benefits in other sections of the economy and society. Since the interview started with the Ciudadano questioning his trip to Colombia to meet Uribe, Lopez pointed out that the "economic miracle" of Colombia in the recent years could not have been possible if Uribe had not put some order int he country. Thus brilliantly dodging the issue, including an idiotic attack by Diosdado Cabello today.
Otherwise there were two highlights in the presentation.
Eventually after lots of prodding by El Ciudadano Lopez acknowledged that the high levels of insecurity in Venezuela might also be a strategy of the regime. A sick strategy for sure, I hurry to add, but a strategy as insecurity keep people at home instead of protesting in the streets against Chavez. Never mind that the people for a little bit of increased security would be willing to accept in a not so distant future that Chavez cuts down Human Rigths. Today Obama, coincidentally, criticized Chavez implying that he is a wannabe dictator, WaPo/AP and the BBC, which made it even more relevant that we have at least one candidate focusing strongly on Human Rights. It will be interesting to see how far is Lopez willing to push this accusation of ill intentions of the regime. Well handled it could change a lot the dynamic of the campaign.
The highlight that made us think the most, or wince in my case, came from a caller who was upset that Leopoldo Lopez did take upon Capriles in the last debate (when he offered him the post of education in his eventual administration). This is really becoming a problem, that people do not understand what a primary campaign is all about (we never had a real one) and that too many of us look for a Messiah to take on Chavez and have no patience with democracy's apparent disorder. Amen of the "comeflor" crowd who genuinely think that a language of love will overcome everything. What Lopez replied is not important (he said justly that there must be more debate for more differentiation and that come what may on February 13 all will be united behind the winner), but the problem that is coming up with the Unidad candidates is that debating among themselves is alienating for too many people, and thus they may be reluctant to try it out, losing precious opportunities to polish debating strategies that may be needed against Chavez later. Then again, this may all be a pet peeve of mine.
All in all Lopez gave a very solid performance and I must tie him up to the top, and perhaps, if the questions sent his way had been better he would have won outright this series. Because the man came pumped up, be it by Uribe or recent polls, he reeked of optimism tonight and this never hurts.
Globovision did not offer at this typing any video of the show tonight. I suppose because Lopez offered a public meeting today where he presented his security program, a semi-fat blue book. So I must put up this presentation video from Globo in all fariness so you will have a look at the man today, even if not infront the Ciudadano. I will change the video if Globo decided to put up an excerpt of tonight.
López: La inseguridad no es un problema que... por Globovision
UPDATE This series is about the general tone of the candidates as they visit Venezuela's top talk show, each in turn. At most I indicate the main points of their programs, not the details since it is more interesting here to evaluate their attitude in front of a questioning party. Their programs are best examined in a different series of posts to be written in January. Still, Bruni, long time reader did get from the post the motivation to dig further and wrote this follow up on Lopez (in Spanish).
And in all fairness if anyone is inspired to write in their blog or paper on the other guys inspired on this series, let me know and I will update those posts to include your text.