Henrique, meet Pablo. Pablo, Henrique.

Half the fun of primaries is the license they grant you to speculate wildly, so don’t mind if I do: I think the opposition primary will turn into a two-horse race between Henrique Capriles Radonski and Pablo Pérez.

And here’s why: barring the unlikely, Leopoldo López is not going to be allowed to stand, whatever IACHR rules. In his absence, Neo-copeyanismo is going to tend to rally around Capriles: a process that’s already well underway. There’s still a chance of Capriles deflating following a scandal and/or huge gaffe. And, to be sure, he could always be disqualified from running himself. If that happens, MCM will struggle to stifle a smile. But the likelihood is that Capriles is the guy that the Christian Democratic family is going to rally around.

When that happens, a blocking coalition from Neo-adequismo is bound to arise, and they will soon realize they can’t let their votes get split up too many ways or else they’ll be handing the thing to Capriles. Who will they rally around? Well, Rosales is a horrible campaigner who doesn’t even live in Venezuela; his only conceivable role is as spoiler to his one-time protegé. Ledezma could still manage it: he’s savvy behind the scenes and doesn’t poll horribly. But chances are the Social Democratic family is going to want to rally around a youngish, telegenic figure who focus groups well with independents. If they know what’s good for them, they’re going to end up supporting Pablo Pérez.

So I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that by Christmas time, 80%+ of likely primary voters will be telling pollsters they’re going for one of these two. That’ll create huge pressure on the others to drop out. The smart ones will do so early enough to put in a valuable endorsement as they try to jack up their chances of landing a plum cabinet job come 2013. The rest will be increasingly irrelevant.

And hey, turns out I’m not the only one who thinks it will pan out this way.

So go ahead, come back in six months and laugh at how wrong we had it!

12 thoughts on “Henrique, meet Pablo. Pablo, Henrique.

  1. My bet is that there will be two toletes: the charismatic (Henry Falcon, LL, and MCM supporting HCR) against the machinery (Ledezma, Perez Vivas, and other candidates from the old guard supporting PP)

    It’s going to be interest. If HCR is to be the candidate who will defeat Chavez he first has to defeat our internal demons, not as popular as him but with a formidable electoral advantage in terms of organization and getting the votes out.


  2. Cilia Flores is already suggesting Henrique Capriles is a criminal.

    To me it is very unlikely that if he were to win the primaries he would reach election day as Chavez’s opponent.They might wait til a few months before elections and then disqualify him.

    Maria Corina is also unlikely to reach the finish line as she has accepted foreign money, and there are even picture showing her shaking hands with the devil.

    I think Chavez does not want to run against any of the new candidates that are unconnected to the previous governments.By default Ledezma might end up being the candidate so Chavez can present the election as a choice between a glorious future or the evils of the past.

    The test will be: Will the Venezuelan people fall for this? or will they realize that any of the democratic oppo candidates is preferable to Chavez.Chavez is not a democrat and he is not even a legitimate candidate for president.


  3. Just for the record, I had absolutely nothing to do with this:


    I was there, I admit it. I laughed when I saw it happen, I’ll admit that too. But I didn’t do it. That’s not my style.

    And if you want to know what really happened, well, he was in the shower. He wasn’t showering, though. Let’s just say he “has been lonely” lately and leave the description at that. Let’s also say there was baby oil involved, and some pictures it’ll take me half of eternity to burn out of my mind. Well, he got carried away. Used too much baby oil. Got way too excited. Then he slipped on the oil and nearly broke his leg.

    Did I mention I laughed “my ass off” as you youngster say nowadays? I’m sure he actually heard me for a second, but he was in so much pain, he probably thought he was hallucinating (again).


  4. I kinda liked the picture of HRC and PP together. I know it’s wishful thinking, but wouldn’t it be perfect if HRC and PP go together as President/VP combo? I mean, how could possibly Chávez beat that?


    • …with giveaways and promises of more giveaways and a beautiful future for all those who feel at the bottom.


  5. I agree with Firepigette. Due to exclusion of the new guard the candidate will end up being a miserable little compromise – i.e. Ledezma. As an uncharasmatic IVth republic associate he’ll be the perfect candidate for Chavez to beat hands down.


  6. Well to me HCR is the best candidate although like ive stated before Pablo Perez is a good one as well. I dont think he would accept being vice-president. I personally would prefer to be governor of the most populated and important state in Venezuela then to be VP. Leopoldo Lopez to me is the best man for that position. I agree with Francisco’s theory that he wont be allowed to run and since he doesnt hold office right now hes got nothing to lose. Hes a popular, charismatic politican who could compliment HCR’s shortcomings in that era. One last reason that this would be a good partnership is that many opposition candidates have stated that if they are elected they will take reelection out of the constitution (completely necessary) so HCR will probably be president for 6 years. LL could become the candidate after him. This could possibly lead to 12 years of efficient, democratic governments. It could help even out 12 years of authoritarian, quasi communist anarchy


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