Candidate watch (updated)


We know Oswaldo Álvarez Paz is going to be competing in the opposition’s primary. We also know that Antonio Ledezma is gunning for it as well. In fact, there he is today, pleading for Un Nuevo Tiempo’s support.

But what about the others?

Starting now, we’re going to track the news for possible signs other candidates are running.

For example, nobody knows for sure if Maria Corina Machado is running.

But then, if she isn’t, what the hell is she doing in San Félix, hundreds of miles away from her constituents? And can someone please tell the lady next to her that she really shouldn’t be wearing that shirt?

By cozying up to the locals, she’s obviously signaling a run …

Update: Leopoldo López is also hitting the trail.

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  1. I thought this post would be longer!!!!

    But yes,that is indeed the question: ¿Why that shirt?

    lol kidding. What’s she doing over there?? I find however,the lack of campaigning of the oppo,combined with everybody wanting to be candidate wich will lead to losing support and votes for the final guy/girl , quite disturbing.,

    • I like the piano, piano version of political campaigning. The sotto voce. Wasn’t that Chávez’ strategy? One could call it “scouting”, or scoping possibilities, before announcing intentions. Perhaps Ma Corina can weave her way through groups of more mixed genders. Until then, the white franela with inked hands, stregically placed on the woman in the photo, is the perfect local colour. It’s good to see a little humour. By the way, isn’t it curious that the women chose to wear one of two colours: white or green?

    • OT: Since the subject of inappropriate T-shirts was brought up, as a native English speaker I am continually amazed at the inappropriate English massages and slogans sported by non-English speakers. I remember a T-shirt with the message, “Sex Lessons: Inquire within.”… worn by an 8 or 9 year old girl.

      Even if you didn’t understand the language yourself, wouldn’t you check and make sure of what it said before you wore it?

  2. I suppose she is signaling a run, as you say. And yet I do think she and Andrés Velázquez and the top 5 to 10 politicians from PJ (but for Miranda’s governor – for the moment, as he has to stay in Miranda) and the top 5-10 from UNT and Podemos HAVE to go to Maturín, to San Félix, to Calabozo, etc starting now…in the name of the Fuerzas Democráticas.

    María Corina may have a constituency, but it is not like she doesn’t know them and they her. Venezuela is not the US.

    Venezuela, like the US and almost any other American country, can be a presidential system but if we are to win over Chávez we HAVE to stop believing only the “Annointed” should go places.
    Venezuelan politicians should stop behaving like feudal lords: either staying put in their feifdom or going on a crussade/quest to become the King.

    The top people from every NATIONAL party or party that claims to be nation should start moving around and talking about the democratic forces and the democratic, pluralistic change that will take place.

  3. 1. I think she is testing the waters, right move IMHO, I still think she needs more time, she has a very bright future ahead of her though.

    2. Love the shirt, lol.

    3. I am pleasently surprised at this post JC, you did not “destroy” a potential candidate and make a case for PJusticia´s candidate… Good stuff lately.

    • Yikes, am I that unfair?

      I only try to destroy dinosaurs, just in case. You won’t find me criticizing MCM, or Leopoldo, or Pablo Perez, the same way I’ll criticize an Omar Barboza, for example.

        • Yeah….except for Leopoldo.

          He may be young, but he thinks like a dinosaur. The smile is telegenic…but there’s no there there.

          Have I mentioned in these pages his fervent advocacy in favor of boycotting the 2005 Asamblea elections?

          No, I’m still not over it.

          • Personally, I really like her. I’m being agnostic about all the non-dinosaurs. Lucia has more issues with Leopoldo than I do, but I see where she’s coming from.

  4. Couldn’t she be putting herself in position to do both? Either run herself, or campaign credibly on behalf of another candidate she can live with (with the expectation of having X cabinet members, for example).

  5. Què va, fuera esos viejos chochos viagrosos y paso a la juventud: marìa corina pa’ tuti li mundachi! [thanks for dropping by! -ed]

  6. If MCM wears one of those white shirts she likes to wear with the two hands front and center and a legend that says “Maria Corina 2012” she has my vote for sure.

  7. I took a more careful look at the photo. MCM could stand to get a little more sincere, less delicate (or “fisna”) in the placement of her hand on the arm of the woman with the controversial T-shirt.

    • You can take the politician out of the Merici, but you can’t take the Merici out of the politician! (con el perdon de mis amigas Mericianas)

      • You know, I didn´t reply your second post because I didn´t want to dwell in the past too much, but this is too rich. I mean come on, NOT HIS SHIT AGAIN!


        I´ll type that again: HE IS A F·CKING CAPRILES. It doesn´t get much wealthier than that… So what! He is a really good politician, and seems to be honest and mean well, that´s all I care about.

        So what is the difference between him and MCM? Gender? Party affiliations? WHAT??

        Come on JC, I was really happy on how much this blog has been improving, but WTF!

        • This debate is tiresome.

          Feto might not like it – it surely is unfair – but MCM’s sifrino diction and body-language is a serious electoral liability for her. That it’s not fair doesn’t make it less true. It’s not really about the school she went to – except insofar as Merici serves as quick-and-dirty shorthand for it – it’s about her habitus.

          HCR shares her class, but he does not share her accent or her habitus. You have to be blind not to see the electoral salience of this.

          Plenty of things that shouldn’t matter do matter to electoral prospects.

          It shouldn’t matter, for instance, that the taller candidate almost always beats the shorter candidate in U.S. presidential elections. This is clearly irrational, unfair, silly, and indefensible – it’s also an incontrovertible fact. Should we just ignore it, then? Of course not.

          Facing up to uncomfortable facts is what the blogger’s role is all about. Declaring discussion of MCM’s diction and body-language verboten helps no one.

          • Wait a second, what you just wrote is completely different than what JC has posted twice now, and what you have posted on our previous debate on this very subject.

            I can agree that she comes across as a “sifrina” and that she needs to “correct” this for the sake of her political future, its all about marketing.

            But all that has little to do with the “merici-jab” and her wealthy background, one thing is to state that she needs to come across as more down to earth, it´s quite another to “slap” her for studying in a rich girl school and for having a wealthy family.

            So for all our sakes, stop trying to make smug/edgy paragraphs or replies, and just write what you really mean (that´s were you excel), because poking at someone for being rich, sifrino or having money is one of the main reasons Venezuela is in shambles.

            I hope you face up to the uncomfortable fact that you as a blogger can sometimes be wrong.

          • Huh?! I don’t think you’re making any sense at all, my pre-natal friend. This is like some weird, upside-down PC-police operation you’re running.

            People tend to vote for people they identify with. Most Venezuelans cannot identify with someone who looks, acts, talks, walks and thinks like a stereotypical member of the Caracas East Side elite Merici symbolizes. As far as I can see, this is all JC is getting at. It’s also obviously true – true to the point of being banal.

            It’s not even a controversial point, when you think about it. It doesn’t mean MCM is disqualified from running, and it doesn’t mean she’s definitely unelectable (Ask David Cameron). But it’s very obviously a factor – and not one that plays in her favor. Refusing to face up to it is just short-sighted.

          • Feto,
            Maybe you’re right. I guess I have a certain suspicion about the Merici kinfolk that I don’t have about other species in the Caraque~no sifrino jungle. But you’re also right that I may be applying a different standard to MCM just because of her gender.

            As Quico says, it is what it is, but we can be better. So I’ll restrain, let others dwell on MCM’s sifrinismo.

          • Well, you know me, I’m particularly sensitive to charges of sexism. And can we really say that, deep down, we’re not applying a double standard to MCM because she’s a woman?

            I guess I’m starting to doubt myself.

  8. Oh come on! Not that Merici tag again!

    You know something guys …SO WHAT? Does studying in the Merici prevent anyone from running for President? She is cute, intelligent, rich, tall and well prepared and she studied in the WHAT?

    MCM is doing a great job, despite the fact that she does not have experience and she does not have a party behind her.

      • JC,

        Don’t retreat, reload!

        There are plenty of unfair determinants to people’s electoral prospects. Really a lot. MCM benefits from some unconcious prejudices (she’s pretty) and suffers from others (she doesn’t talk or move like most Venezuelans).

        These things shouldn’t matter. These things do matter. It’s infantile to pretend otherwise.

        • I don’t think the criticisms have been about the things that make MCM lose political points. It’s about the generality that Merici means “discard”. I know, Quico, that you explained that Merici was just a label to represent all those other things, but that’s not how it was stated in the post. In fact, when pointing at another candidate who shares some of those things, the Merici label seemed to outweigh what it supposedly represents in the reply.

  9. Bruni – if you think that MCM is doing a “great job”, do you include the fact taht she lied abou poverty stats in the AN a couple of months ago and got caught out? So, for you, lying is doing a great job? Get a life. I live in Chacao and have yet to see her here, except when she vistied the cachito hunger strike. She is normnally swanning around somewhere else pushing her own agenda instead of caring for her voters. Very disappointing for me so far.

    • Arturo, we are sooo sorry you won’t be voting for her.
      She should not spend much time there. She knows very well the people from Chacao. In case you don’t know: national laws (and that is what the AN should be mostly about and Venezuela is not the US) are not for regions, but for the whole country. So: I applaud she spends lots of time somewhere else. I hope all the other top politicians from the democratic forces do that as well.
      That’s the way to reduce the influence of your milicos and boliburgueses.

      And by the way: what are you doing there? Why aren’t you living in El Valle?
      I hope your family sends the children to public national schools, just to show how good they are.

  10. Let’s not forget that authoritarian rule builds its hegemony upon both keeping its coalition together; while providing the institutional and otherwise contextual conditions to prevent the opposition from successfully getting their act together to defeat the regime.

    This is a wait and see game, but we’re only 18 months away, and I still see too many ambitious faces around; no predefined, established mechanism to solve the opposition coordination dilemma, and Chavez en campaña…. the sooner they stop playing Chicken and unify behind a single face and message, the better.


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