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  1. Shorthand: Arria was too brutally honest about what we face, Maria Corina was too politically incorrect (for Venezuelan standards, i.e. you can’t be anywhere right of the left), Pablo Perez was too i don’t know, adeco?, Leopoldo was too naive and, finally, Henrique Capriles was too cheesy (cursi). This means that most likely Henrique easily won the debate on a nation-wide basis. How far do we still have to go…

  2. Not necessarily, my whole family was going to vote for HCR, except me (MCM) and my uncle (PP), now, after the debate, all of them are going for PP except me, Im still voting for MCM, but I think PP will win the primary

    Sorry if this is a little bit short and certainly incomplete, but my reasons for what I posted above are already posted on this comment on another thread:


  3. I think Maria Corina wins this debate. She was forceful, handled her answers well and stayed on message. The others also mostly stayed on message, but I liked her message more.

    She convinced me she has backbone, something I thought she might have not had enough of before tonight.

    As usual, the lesson is do not underestimate Venezuelan women, they continuously surprise you when you do so. If she is the candidate, I certainly hope that Chavez makes the same mistake I did.

  4. Morning. Ohe thing before I begin.

    Last night, before going to sleep, I was channel surfing. I decided against my good judgement to watch part of La Hojilla to see what Mario would say. He actually showed the blocks of the debate without commenting on then. Probably he make mock of them later, but at least the hardcore chavistas who wasn’t sleeping at the time could watch the candidates. My question was who was these people and what they did to Mario and Amorin (Oh, Amorin, that guy makes me laugh).

    OK. My takes on the debates:

    Winner: Maria Corina. She was the most consistent of the bunch. She finally could develop the “Popular capitalism” theme and make it tangible. She showed her commitment to liberty, property and prosperity. Won the security part hands down. My only complaint: Don’t always do the “angry Marge Simpson” thing when talking serious stuff.

    Surprise: Diego Arria. He had nothing to lose and he seized the opportunity. He shook the debate up by calling things by their true name. The only one who understand the graveness of the situation and called for a transition. He will get the “Maria Alejandra Lopez” block of votes.

    Improvement: Pablo Perez. He looked presidential. He did his homework. He make the gamble of promising more of 1 million jobs in the first 30 seconds. He lost some steam in the end, but showed promise. In the bottom, he was the traditional “adeco” candidate.

    Dissapointment: Henrique Capriles. He looked uncomfortable in the beginning but he got better. Won the education debate. Making a general election campaign on a primary will hurt him with hardcore opposition voters. He sticked to his campaign messages ad nauseam. He should loose himself a little.

    Loser: Leopoldo Lopez. He tried too hard. I like his showing in the security part but then he got lost. He was too… wooden in the end. Like he tried to be older than he looks. Couldn’t develope his ideas in a clear manner. He needs a major rethink for the next debate.

    Format: Very limited. 1 minute is too little to develop coherent answers, so the candidates stayed with their slogans and talking points. J.M. casal was a decent host, but because he’s not a journalist, he didn’t push whatsoever. The delivery of the questions was subpar. The last one alone was a doozy. Some technical issues in the start. Cordial tone all around. Great success.

    Hugo Chavez: Made a “dick move” by putting a cadena before the debate. He’s mad that the attention was not focused on him. He’s doing the old act of admiting mistakes and asking for more time. He looks huge, like one of those giant Buddhas. I sense fatigue in him.

  5. Unfortunately HCR has too much anguish in his face to win over voters in Cojedes, Apure etc. I will have to vote for who I think can win over voters from Chavez,(PP) and not necessarily for who I think is the best presidential candidate – (MCM).

  6. My first thought is that anyone of them other than DA could beat Chavez.

    My disappointment came when the 5 were put together there was no stand out.
    It’s like watching American Idol or Factor X – lots of great singers but often only one knockout that brings emotion to your soul when you hear them.

    There was no Jack Kennedy last night.

    Maybe it was the format or the one minute limit but I was not knocked over by any of them.

    All the online surveys (except here) show HCR still in a big lead with MM, DA & LL way behind.

    HCR’s voice last night caught me totally off guard the first time I heard him. Maybe it was nerves but it was very high pitched.

    What was with DA ending 15 to 20 seconds early on every point – no imagination to fill the spaces?

    PP wanting to be my father? No thanks! Why do politicians treat everyone like imbeciles?

    MM looks so unpresidential – maybe it’s me.


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