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.

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  1. Nunca había tenido tanto sentido lo que cantamos en nuestro himno: “Abajo cadenas, abajo cadenas…”. El debate es signo de libertad. La “cadena” es una cadena que debemos romper.

  2. Thank you Quico and Juan for your posts, and to all those who contribute to the lively exchanges on this blog.
    Tonight is historic, indeed.

  3. Diego Arria mouthing off is just awesome.

    Leopoldo have a good answer: Let’s just not pull off a mexico-style war on drugs without preparation.

    HCR is starting to get better. Pablo looks really presidential tonight.

    • I guess I was wrong. Her statement doesn’t show that she doesn’t read this blog, nor even my comments. Silly me to think she may be reading us and still be thinking that not education, nor cash transfers, nor any venue, could lift people out of poverty, “*only* employment”, she said.

  4. Diego Arria: Promising number of jobs is irresponsible. Boom goes the dynamite.

    HCR: Creating half million jobs is possible. Private & Public Sector partnership.

    PP: Infrastructure, housing, agriculture, oil industry, public services. No more weapons. Sorry, Putin.

    MCM: Private investing. Legal Security. making informal economy formal. Less red tape.

    LL: Support national industry. No more capitalist state.


  5. Everybody wants more and better schools. And Maria Corina wants more maths.

    Leopoldo proposes Conditional Cash Transfers for better grades. have you heard Quico?

    Diego Arria actually goes back to his time as Governor of Caracas. Better nutrition.

  6. Dear friends of CCS: Elrond is not a place, Elrond is an elf.

    You are thinking of Rivendel, and even then, the comparison is wrong, since Elves are not from Rivendel either, they just live there “temporally”.

    Ask Guido about it

  7. Fabulous *debate* for the public. Any more debates before February?
    There should be. A second debate might just loosen up some of the pre-candidates (especially HCR).

  8. BTW, for all the candidates this is probably their first TV debate ever. So, let’s give them a break if they don’t nail this at its first shot.

    Compared it with the republican candidates like Rick Perry or Herman Cain, they are brilliant.

  9. Maria Corina was on fire tonight. HCR started slow but he got better. Leopoldo was the other way around. Pablo dropped the ball with the early program-naming. However he has improved.

    And Diego Arria… Thank God he got the signatures because he was the S***!

    The format limited the debate but at least was better than the spanish debate of last week.

    Bad news, the next debate is in Venevision with Eduardo Rodriguez. WEAK.

    Loser of the night: Hugo Chavez. I smell many cadenas with angry comments all this week.

    Tonight was a great night. Thanks Estudiantes for making this possible. Thanks UCAB.

    Thanks JC and Quico for Daily Dish style blogging. At last. Auf wiedersehen!

  10. ccschron: put up a poll to see who won?

    i say mcm won. good delivery, good use of emotions. understands the audience. good balance between anecdotes and stats/facts.
    hcr is disciplined on message, but often vague. too stiff. weird hand gestures and facial expression. did not risk much in terms of content and policy proposals.
    pp did a lot better than i expected. looked the part.
    i was disappointed with ll, i was expecting him to perform better given his image and talents as a speaker.
    arria is indeed ron paul. keeps everyone on their toes. has nothing to lose, can (and did) say just about anything.

  11. On purely presentation I think LL and HCR came out the losers with MCM as the winner and PP and DA in the middle! All their manifestos seem similar in the subjects debated, with the exception of DA who rarely defined detail but came across as more extreme. Congratulations to the students and to UCAB for putting on the show. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if they could get Chavez and the candidate elected in the primaries for a debate under the same rules! Yes, I know I can but dream.

  12. It looks as though, overall, MCM the only authentic independent, non-traditional pol, finished up leaving the rest looking at her (clean) heels. The erstwhile front runners, LL and especially HCR looked notably less than comfortable and came across as stilted next to MCM, DA and PP. With the ‘Padre” reference though, PP broke the solid spell he had been successfully weaving until then: upshot, MCM won comfortably, PP second by a length and HCR and LL lost, uncomfortably. As noted above DA, with nothing to lose and who could “say just about anything” was an eloquent, mostly on-the-money, outlier from the outset but did show that he has a role to play in these events; let’s hope it’s not the last. As for the final Photo-op Five, if a picture is worth a thousand words, one of them ought to be “feasible”.

  13. Well, I really enjoyed the whole thing!!

    MHO on the debate:

    – Diego Arria: I think he’s really meando fuera del perol :p the only thing that I liked about him was “it’s irresponsible to talk about how many jobs will I be creating if Im elected president”. I didnt feel connected with any of that “when I was in the UN”, “when somebody from USA came to visit us and I showed him hospitals and stuff”… nope, didnt rang any bells for me. Also, his answers were, well, as many people have said it, non-stop rambling, specially about narcosoles :p Anyways, he isnt going to win the primary to begin with, so whatever happened tonight isnt going to do much difference :p

    – Henriqe Capriles: well, it was a complete dissapointment for me, my mom, and my whole family 🙁 We were very excited about capriles, even though we live in Maracaibo. Before the debate, we thought that capriles might have a chance against chavez, and certainly, against the other precandidates, but what happened tonight with Capriles reminds me of Mockus, upper hand before the debate, sayonara after… His answers were mostly correct, though not as assertive and specific (or logic, for that matter) as other candidates answers, kinda like “you were ok, but somebody else did it better”. Finally, his looks and his attitude towards the camera, my mom seriously laughed of him, because she said that he looked like he was making a GREAT effort trying to hipnotize us to vote for him… sad, I had hopes for him, since he managed to, well, manage the situation in Miranda pretty decently considering how Diosdado left it, let’s see how things move until february, but if you ask me = he’s toast

    – Pablo Perez: boy, are we demagogic today… his speech was very well delivered, he was the first one to point out the importance of disarm plans and that we needed a complete cleanup of the judicial system, I think he nailed it on the security part of the debate but failed big time on employment and education… Wasn’t going to vote for him on the first place, not going to vote for him afterwards (unless, of course, he’s the unity candidate). Sad is, I think he’s going to become the unity candidate because: a) he’s got AD, UNT and COPEI behind him, even if people is sick and tired of old school, we have to acknowledge that those parties have some serious votes for him, b) I think he connected with el pueblo very well, again, his speech was excellent c) he was, by far, the most demamogue of them all, he offered and offered, you’ll have job, security and all, because Im daddy and you’re my beloved princess and I’ll give it to you all and d) Capriles blew it. Let’s face it, even if not most venezuelans are like that, a lot of people just think “dame dame dame”, I just hope that most of the damers are on the chavista side of things :p

    Maria Machado: she was my favorite candidate :p it was sad for me how she started, her answers were, literally, 50% some story/numbers/anything, 50% actual answer :p, then, I didnt like AT ALL her answers on the security stage of the debate (at least, compared to the others’ answers) BUT I think she N-A-I-L-E-D-I-T afterwards: a) to create jobs we need companies, to create companies we have to give them security and we have to make things easier for them instead of being such a pain in the gluteus maximus as this government is b) Partly agree on the whole “buhonero to comerciante” thing c) We dont need more schools, we need BETTER schools (and teachers!). Those three things are what I personally believe we need the most in the medium to long term run but that need to start ASAP to become effective, also, she was the only one to say those things, the only one who came close on this topic was leopoldo with his “hecho en venezuela” (which doesnt convince me quite much). Also I like her “Hugo, I’m coming to get you!!!” and “On december 8th 2012 MCM is going to make Hugo her b*tch–s*ck it down” attitude, she was the one that confronted Hugo most directly and fiercely. BTW, 1000 points to whoever knows where the whole “MCM will make him her b*tch” thing comes from. In conclusion: she was excellent and I’ll vote for her even though I know she isn’t likely to win, because I truly believe in what she stands for

    Leopoldo Lopez: I think he gets second place on the debate, did it fine on security, just as pablito, but not as good as MCM but not as bad as PP or HCR on the other topics. Hecho en Venezuela just doesnt work for me (sadly) because if Im going to support such a product, I need to at least, feel it’s decent quality, something very difficult to grasp specially after 12 years of Hugo. I think he delivered his message pretty well, just as much or even better than PP and I like the fact that he has been fighting against everything the government has thrown at him, and succeeded. If MCM weren’t a candidate, I would vote for him, even knowing that most likely, Lopez is just a “blue chavez”, because I think he really wants to do things the right way and he has the gonads to do what it takes and for long as it takes (but legally), in a (relatively) clever way.

    Final Score
    Sec Employ Edu Total
    DA 1 1 1 3
    HCR 3 2 3 8
    PP 5 3 2 10
    MCM 2 5 5 12
    LL 4 4 4 12

    • And not that the actual thing were not good: it was very good. Debate, debate, debate is one of my mantras. The Fat Man in the Palace didn’t have a good time.

  14. On a lighter note, but important: I liked LL red tie. I liked MCM red shirt. Nice way of saying “this is not exclusively yours”.

  15. BTW, Juan & Quico, many thanks for this. It was my way to know what happened since i couldn’t actually watch the debate.


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