Can María join the top tier?

OK, so I have no idea if the crazy-ass rumor that María Corina Machado is about to cut a deal with Henry Ramos Allup to run in the Opposition primaries on the AD ticket is true.

But if it is, things are going to get very interesting around here very very soon…not least for Juan Andrés Ravell, who must be peeing his pants with excitement.

Once you get over the staggered bit of nausea the very notion will inevitably induce, you start to see the unmistakable sense it makes.

Up to this point, I’d been inclined to dismiss MCM’s chances. She simply doesn’t have the machinery, the national presence or the Class C and D street cred to overcome the liabilities that are her accent and skin tone.

But put AD’s much-diminished-but-still-genuinely-national party machine behind her and … well, that equation is turned upside down.

To get a sense for this, just poke around CNE’s Election Results for 2010 for half an hour. Outside the Usual-Suspect big urban states, AD is the single biggest opposition party just about everywhere. They’re the biggest opposition party in Anzoategui, Apure, Barinas, Cojedes, Delta Amacuro, Falcon, Guarico, Merida, Monagas, Nueva Esparta, Portuguesa, Trujillo and Vargas.

Sure, they’re often only on 10-15% of the vote in these places, but they’re everywhere. No other opposition party is consistently North of 5% out there. AD matters, and with a candidate like MCM, AD can compete not just in the boonies, but in the opposition urban heartland too.

The upside for AD is just as clear: they get to sidestep the oedipal trainwreck that Un Nuevo Tiempo has become, as well as the strategic threat to be swallowed up by their neo-adeco zulian doppelgangers. They get themselves a candidate with a golden tongue and some star power who can appeal beyond AD’s rural base, and one who, if she wins, would unmistakably owe it to them.

There’s even a silver lining here for front-runner Henrique Capriles Radonsky. After all, if UNT runs its own candidate, the adeco vote is split and his chances improve.

Again, this post is almost certainly premature, because there’s no specific reason to believe there’s anything to these rumors other than a nasty attempt to discredit MCM by association with a party that carries sky-high negatives with many, many voters.

But I’m inclined to think María Corina Machado is smart enough to know that if she wants the Miraflores omelette bad enough, she’s going to have to break some eggs. And in a weird kind of way, I’d almost find it reassuring to see her do it.

It would speak of her audacity, her willingness to get her hands dirty, and her determination.

One thing’s for sure, it’d be great fun!

15 thoughts on “Can María join the top tier?

  1. It´ll be refreshing to actually enjoy an election (primaries) and be able to listen to actual debates (hopefully), be able to discuss candidates for their virtues and not for “es este o nada porque lo escogio la CDem”, hopefully we´ll have some fun, and not cause internal damage on the way.

    What I´m really looking forward to will be the alliances that will inevitably come up once things are a little clearer, I´m sure we´ll be surprised on who supports whom (party-wise)… Come to think of it, this would make a bitchin´ TV show.


  2. jajajajajajaja…. Maria Corina… who?
    Will ask a slum dweller at Cerrito Blanco in Barquisimeto!


  3. Y usted no cree que para un adeco votar por mcm es casi tan dificil como lo fue tratar de votar por salas romer en el 98


    • Negado. Maria Corina ayuda mucho a AD, una tipa joven mas no una cara nueva, el perfil de luchadora y carismatica. Yo en lo particular no la veo como jefe de estado, pero ella ayuda a AD; habra que ver si AD la va a ayudar o la va a convertir en una especie de Irene 2.


      • Probably I’m wrong, but MCM doesn’t look like a pushover. It’s hard to tell if it will fly, but it will be interesting nonetheless to watch them try…


  4. Very tricky situation for MCM: she’s damned if she does ally with AD (just like Irene in 98) and she’s damned if she doesn’t because of her lack of machinery.

    If she can pull out of that conundrum intact, then she will be a formidable candidate.


  5. Reading the article on Notitarde, looks like AD is still sitting on the fence. They even show Ramos Allup giving some love to LL. Hard to tell what’s gonna happen but, like you said, AD have some leverage and they’re willing to use it. They’re not going to give it for free!

    On the other hand, I can picture MCM kicking AD to the curb after all is said and done. She looks like a wildcard to me, and she may even do that in the name of “national unity” or whatever you wanna call it.

    That’s probably the key for MCM: sell herself as a wildcard who is willing to seal the occasional deal with AD, PSUV and whatnot, as long as it is in the name of our collective well-being, saving the country, etc. After all, she has pictures of her shaking hands with Bush and Chávez… Who else can claim that?


  6. Chavismo’s general election strategy is not a mystery — they’re going to say: “Life here is not perfect, the revolution is a work in progress, but for the first time in the history of Venezuela, YOU count for something, your voice matters, we care about you, no matter how poor you are.” Anyone who doesn’t get the power of this message hasn’t been paying attention to the stubborn support for Chavismo even as the lights go out, crime and inflation skyrocket, etc.

    Yet for the first time in years, the opposition has a real opportunity.

    And we’re going to send into that (unfair, tilted) fight someone with no governing experience? No serious accomplishments? No credentials w/the poor? Running on an adeco ticket?


    And I say this as someone who admires and respects MCM. I hope she plays a real and significant role in re-building Venezuela. But she’s far from the strongest candidate to take on Chavismo.


    • We cannot play this traditionally. There isn’t anybody with the same potential to shake things up as MCM. Experience is relative…what the country needs is vision to take us out of the bottom of world statistics. MCM brings to the table a fresh face, unpolluted by the sins of the 4ta republica and in sheer contrast with the mediocrity and cult mentality of Chavismo. Again…I don’t think that being the Mayor of the RICHEST counties/state in the country should count as MAJOR advantage experience. Plus, I can’t stand Capriles’ lisp, or Lopez’s feelings of entitlement. We shall see what happens.


      • Agree with you completely about Chacao. And sense of entitlement.
        As for unpolluted by the sins of the 4th…going to be harder to persuade voters about that if she runs on the adeco line.


  7. MCM is a new face, way different than the traditional politician. It is a woman but it is not a light candidate. She is not the candidate that will take votes from the Chavez followers but Capriles will not do it either. But she might be the candidate that will bring enthusiasm to a very dull champaign. And something else, women cross the ideological barrier more than men when it come to elect a woman.


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