Live blogging the debate

9:43 – That’s a wrap. I’m proud, and eerily hopeful tonight. They all did well, which means we all did well.

9:35 – Wonderful visuals at the end, with all five raising their arms. This was a great event, so proud of all five, even of Ron Paul.

9:35 – Quico says, MCM scares me – there’s just this mad intensity in her eyes. I still think she wins the debate because there’s a whole range of right wing opinion out there that I’m sure the boys leave cold.

9:35 – Maria Corina ends by saying she’s really, really mad at Chavez. And she has a vagina.

9:33 – I don’t know if PP wants to be President or adopt us all. “Padre de toda Venezuela”?! Um, ok.

9:31 – Capriles’ message discipline is scary good. Very strong finish.

9:30 – Diego Arria mentions The Hague. The crowd goes wild. The Hague? Really?

9:28 – Closing arguments. Leopoldo emphasizing “La Mejor Venezuela”, strangely vague, a bit distant. His message is unpolished. He needed a knockout punch and he didn’t land one.

9:22 – PP naming programs that don’t exist. #ChavezIsMyRoleModel.

9:21 – HCR “Yo quiero ser reiterativo”…oh you’re succeeding admirably, dear… Cranky Capriles in da house. Guy’s brow is burrowed in his skull.

9:20 – I think one of the biggest takeaways from this gig is that you could see these five working as a team. Unity is not a chimera.

9:12 – How many times has Hugo Chávez been mentioned so far? 3 or 4? The opposition has come a long way, baby.

9:06 – Quico thinks MCM is substantive and BS free, but her body language is terrible – she comes across like she’s PISSED OFF at you. Katy thinks he’s just being sexist.

9:05 – Katy, the real one, who knows about this, says people don’t leave school to work, they leave because they don’t see the benefit.

9:02 – LL sets off a CCTGASM in Montreal.

8:59 – Capriles keeps it simple. Education proposal is infrastructure and teacher quality. There’s not much more you can do.

8:58 – Oh for fuck’s sake, LL is on some Hecho en Venezuela tangent…#1970-called-it-wants-its-economic-policy-back.

8:56 – Maria Corina is very strong in her answer on jobs. Her comparison to the number of days it takes to open a business in Chile is spot on. Regulation is choking our economy, and she’s the only one who gets it.

8:55 – Pablo Perez is going to create jobs by charging Haiti and Jamaica for their oil. No mention of the gasoline subsidy. Weak.

8:52 – Has any of these guys or gal cracked a smile? #BlackCloudDebate

8:50 – Diego Arria misses Pablo Medina, and he’s the only one. Plus, what’s up with asking for a number of jobs they are going to create? #Sharifker #Fail.

8:49 – Just to clarify, the comments are coming from one or both of us. It’s too damn confusing to clarify who is saying what. #TwoBloggersBecomeOne.

8:46 – MCM: create yer own damn job. #CapitalismoPopularIsWeird

8:45 – PP wants a 30% quota on what now? And 5% on what?! #More-Regulation…great!

8:45 – If Henrique’s goal was to repeat his message incessantly, then he’s doing brilliantly. Just don’t ask him to give you specifics.

8:44 – Why is HCR pointing a dart at me? #weirdbodylanguage

8:43 – It’s Ley del Primer Empleo, not Ley del Empleo Juvenil. It’s his party’s own law. That was a flub on the part of Henrique.

8:42 – Diego Arria is clearly not going after the Medico Comunitario vote.

8:41 – Leopoldo López name drops Luis Lopez? Really? If you’re gonna make someone up, at least give them a stranger name.

8:40 – Question from the Universidad Monteavila! Opus Dei for the win!

 8:38 – PP seems determined to copy every HCR answer. Is this some weird strategy?! Or do they have the same advisors?

8:37 – Capriles calls it a “Narcoestado” too – isn’t that what they threw OAP in jail for? #risky

8:36 – Diego Arria has an idée fixe with the narco-generals. Great to have someone there reminding us again and again. Arria is earning his spot on the podium.

8:33 – Leopoldo López with a proper wonky answer on drug-dealing, holding up Mexico’s catastrophic shoot-em-up drug war as a warning. Impressive.

8:32 – MCM makes sure to name-drop all the hell-hole slums she’s been campaigning in.

8:30 – PP looks plausible in the role he’s playing, which exceeds my expectations. Interesting.

8:26 – HCR blames the government directly for judicial corruption.  #end-the-kumbaya-crap-hcr

8:25 – Diego Arria drops a constituyente bomb. #RonPauldelCaribe

8:24 – LL name checks Primero Justicia’s “Casas de la Justicia” proposal. Is he coming home?

8:23 – LL doesn’t want to throw out the Prosecutor General, he wants to convoke her to Miraflores and dress her down.

8:22 – MCM names check judge Afiuni. Good for her! The El Cafetal vote is in her pocket…

8:20 – Pablo Perez trying to sound wonky makes me feel uncomfortable. It’s just not right.

8:18 – Diego Arria is the Ron Paul of the Venezuelan opposition: he knows he won’t win, so he’s free to rant (in this case, about the rrrrregimen’s drug trafficking ties.)

8:17 – Leopoldo: making people assume crime as their top priority …  is not a policy prescription.

8:16 – MCM gets the sense of urgency right on crime.

8:15 – Maria Corina’s ears are making her look like she’s from Elrond.

8:14 – PP answers the same thing as HCR on violence, but in a different order. Will these guys ever differentiate themselves?

8:12 – HCR pivots back to Miranda’s experience on education while talking about violence. Then mentions his time in jail.

8:10 – BTW, Chávez ended his cadena just a minute before the debate launch. (?!?!?)

8:09 – Globovision goes to commercial – hey, they need the cash to pay the fines!

8:08 – LL looks just great in that tie.

8:07 – MCM sounds nervous – but is still good at it.

8:05 – PP pledges 1,136,000 jobs. Not 1,137,000, not 1,135,000. 1,136,000.

8:04 – HCR has his 30 sec. elevator speech down pat.

8:03 – Diego Arria can’t work his microphone – maybe his grandkids can help him figure it out.

OK, folks. Chávez is hogging the airwaves, but the debate is going to take place anyway.

Quico and I will be live-blogging it, so update this post to get Quico’s comments and my smart, witty, smart-alecky replies. Or vice-versa.

Let’s see how it goes. Porque en CC no hay cadena que valga.