Friday, December 16, 2011

Machado at El Ciudadano

Well, what can I say? If the only three candidates were HCR, PP and Maria Corina Machado and the vote tomorrow I would vote for her without batting an eye.  Trailing in the polls, really hard pressed by an unusually aggressive Ciudadano in the first part of her visit, she put all of that on the side and was able to draw her vision of the country.  You may agree with her, or not, but you cannot deny that the woman knows what she wants and that at this stage she does not care whether people think she is right.  She knows she is and she knows her mission goes beyond the current electoral context.  I  have always been a sucker for Cassandra like politicians and let's say it: she was thatcherian tonight.

But one better, actually, because she has some genuine compassion to go with it.  Her best moment may have been when the Ciudadano told her dismissively that all candidates promised such stuff and she looked straight at him and said " but they believe it when it comes from me".
Ciudadano: Eso se lo dicen todo el mundo, Maria Corina [dismissive hand gesture follows]
Machado: Nooo, eso es verdad; pero a mi me lo creen

That is what you call aplomb.

I do not know how true is that, or if she was trying to gamble everything to nudge a few points in the polls, but one thing is certain: she has star quality because the callers were devoted supporters whereas the callers from the first two guys were more inquisitive, seeking reassurance.  None of the Machado callers sought reassurance.

But let's get back to the interview and away from my perceptions (I love wonkish strong women, even if I have little use for them).  First, I suppose that the initial almost harsh stance from El Ciudadano was part of the show.  After all, his self anointed mission is to make all candidates play on their strength, and MCM being a woman and trailing, he may have wanted to show the world that she is credible as a president of Venezuela.  Her first hellish 10 minutes did prove that point and the rest of the interview went much more according to form, with El Ciudadano even joking at some point that people are upset when he is too harsh and upset when he is too soft. But the man has been around the block and I suspect that he really wants the best one to win in February, whomever.  Which led to a telling moment.

EL Ciudadano was of course asking her about her lack of crowds, of mass meetings, etc, as the main three candidates are able to pull at their events.  She said some crap about going to the people instead and she dismissed all the polls bravely pointing out that not only 40% of the people have not chosen their man yet, but had the Ciudadano made his choice already?  He fumbled, taken by surprise, and admitted that he was waiting for February (as yours truly isdoing, by the way).  Which was my best part of the interview for me because MCM showed that she clearly understood what a primary is all about: you chose the one you like the best, not necessarily the one you think will win the general election.  This allowed her to be generous in saying that all candidates would be united behind the winner in February and that it was great that we had such great candidates to pick from.

Since this is long enough already, I will pass on the wonkish part except to stress that she knows her numbers, she made her homework and she has ideas, clear ideas.  We can discuss their feasibility at will but since I am of the mind that the feasibility of anything is questionable, why bother.  Let's suffice that a candidate shows intellect and the ability to come up with solutions because the solutions we discuss today may well be absolutely moot a year from now when a new administration takes charge and finds empty coffers and thousands of saboteurs in front.

At any rate, tonight Machado showed that intelligently she is doing a primary campaign.  She is not wasting time on the pretense of a national campaign as those ahead in the polls are doing, and she is focusing on the only thing she can do: gather one by one the faithful, those that will be certain to vote for her once convinced.  That is how it is won in Iowa and New Hampshire, and how it should be won in Venezuela except that she has little time left until February 12.  We´ll see.

Maria Corina en Aló Venezuela por Globovision


PS: So right now my series choices stand as MCM in first, PP in second and HCR in third, with three to go, and none eliminated outright.  Wish me luck in being able to follow the three interviews as I may miss the Monday night with Leopoldo but I should be able to get Friday and Tuesday..


  1. I must say that since I have followed her in the Assembly, I have been very very impressed by MCM. She has an ideology, she knows what it means to govern a modern country and she has a vision.

    I really like her.

    My old posts

  2. Bruni

    And what about throwing some sugar to your chroniclers that has managed to write three positive reports so far? Ain't that a feat of sorts? :)

  3. OK, I cannot stop thinking of this song when I hear of Machado now:


    I know, it's terrible...but I like her courage and how she would cut the red tape.

  4. Obviously it is possible to truly, deeply appreciate something wonderful while it is right in front of you (and I've gotten better at it with age and mileage, but, still, for many (& for myself in many situations) it still takes a loss to make me step back & really consider what we had.

    Venezuela had a small taste of democracy and lost it.I think this has created a group of folks who now appreciate it more than ever.I think this why we have such good candidates right now.If they are lucky and get the chance,they are going to take the precious gift in their hands and care for it lovingly......until the next group of sociopaths attempt to take over, and they will.

    I see 3 candidates whom I trust: LL, Capriles, and Machado.Machado being a women gives her an edge( not to win but with the ability to initiate change) because she can truly bring something very new to Venezuela as a woman and she appears to have the courage to do so- at least to the extent that this is possible.

    Kepler's video was perfect!

  5. Forgot to mention something:

    I love what I see in the candidates for the most part.It reminds me of the ancient symbol of the Lotus flower whose growth of pure beauty rises from the mud of its origin,and holds a special meaning according to Buddhist and Confucian philosophical traditions.

    A Confucian scholar Zhou Dunyl once said" I love the lotus because while growing from mud, it is unstained."This is how I see the 3 candidates i mentioned above.

    Something very good has come out of the worst horror, and the struggle to overcome is better than the US candidates precisely because of the struggle and difficulties surrounding their situations.In the US we take things for granted which is not good...but we will pay for this, and then restart the cycle, hopefully.

  6. For the first time since the candidates began to "come out", I am changing my mind about MCM. She may not win the primaries, but with this interview (and I wish I'd seen all of it), she has come close to gaining my vote.

    MCM cuts through the BS, her comments focus well on the problems, her eyes focus well on the moderator and the viewers, throughout this condensed version of her presentation.

    Alas, there was no mention of solutions.

  7. Syd

    "no mention of solutions"

    Really, is it necessary?

    No kidding now. I am not too keen on precise solutions for a country that we do not know how bad shape is in. I prefer to look for creative candidates than those with already a list. True, lists tend to do well in general elections, but in primaries, this far ahead, it could even be counter productive during the campaign as they may be forced to change the list.

    Fortunately the MUD has written a list which is separated from the individual candidates and as such it is assumed that the winner in February will only be requested to pick in the list what is convenient for his campaign.

    Well, I hope any way....


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