A few tips for the front runner

Tomorrow, Miranda Governor Henrique Capriles will officially launch his campaign for the opposition’s Presidential nomination. Flimsy phone-polls and chutzpah-filled, self-proclaimed surge claims notwithstanding, he continues to be the front runner.

It’s the job of bloggers to sit in the sidelines and throw peanuts at everyone and anyone who doesn’t do what we want them to, right? So, in that spirit, here are some tips for Henrique as he puts the finishing touches on his speech.

1. Don’t tell us who you’re not, tell us who you are. Define yourself. Tell us what moves you, what you believe in. Don’t limit yourself to talking about what you’ve done in Miranda, how many schools you’ve built, or how many times you’ve met with chavistas. Yes, that stuff is important, and I’m sure you will talk about them. But you need to go beyond that. You need to nail the vision thing. More importantly, tell us why you’re better than the others. No need to zing them, just differentiate yourself from the pack in a clear way. Remind us of this guy, and this guy.

2. Don’t be afraid to go wonky once in a while. Whether it’s conditional cash transfers, crime, infrastructure, or Cadivi, we need a few more specifics. Don’t make the speech all wonk, but don’t be afraid to put some meat on the bone. And throw in a surprise or two to grab the headlines.

3. Talk about the challenges you will face. Whether it’s the Cubans, the Armed Forces, or the boatload of chavista institutions you will inherit, you should tell us what we can expect from you. Don’t get bogged down in details, but at least acknowledge that these will be crucial issues that will need to be resolved. And while you’re at it, throw some red meat to the opposition’s base. This is a primary after all, the general election is months away.

4. Bathe yourself in symbolism. Quote Bolívar, beisbol, Miranda, Bello, Teresa de la Parra, Gallegos, Radio Rochela. Any of them, all of them. Make the speech folksy and understandable in Los Palos Grandes, Petare, Borburata, and Upata.

5. Have fun. Smile. You’re in the lead!

Our expectations for this one are high, Henrique. Please meet them.

Disclaimer: As many of you know, I’m a member of Primero Justicia. I don’t know Henrique Capriles personally, and I don’t work for his campaign, but I’ve been in touch with them and may help out in the near future. I’m going to continue blogging about him and the election, and both Quico and I thought it was important to clarify where I stand.

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