Message discip-SQUIRREL!!!

For the very abridged version of why Pablo Pérez’s campaign isn’t really taking off, have a look at this frankly weird clip:

So, turns out the one big reason to want a Pablo Pérez presidency is that he’ll bring about…the Tarjeta Unica!??! Really!?

But wasn’t his message last week about something else altogether? The guy’s like the dogs from Up! He had this nice riff going about unity and working toge-SQUIRREL!!

Don’t get me wrong. Having a Tarjeta Unica – a single place on the ballot for oppo voters to back the Unity candidate, rather than many party-backed places all backing the same candidate – may be a fine and noble idea. (To be sure, there are powerful counterarguments, too: what if CNE sticks your Tarjeta Unica on the 3rd column, 11th row of one of those mammoth Venezuelan ballots, where nobody can find it?)

None of that’s the point: the point is that this is a technical, insiders’ debate of absolutely zero relevance to the day-to-day life of normal people. I mean, seriously: trek out to Upata, say, or Valle de la Pascua, and ask 100 random people on the street what the Tarjeta Unica is or why it matters to them – how many of them can give you a reasonably accurate response? Three, four, maybe?

Here’s a rule of thumb for you: If you truly, in your heart of hearts, believe millions of Venezuelan voters are sitting around fervently hoping for a Tarjeta Unica, there’s just a chance you’re a wee bit out of touch. Pablo, amigo, this is not the kind of thing you bring out the confetti for.

In the context of his hat-tips at the Protozoic Parties at the start of the clip, it just reeks of messaging-by-committee, with old style pols calling in chits to put their pet causes into the speeches of a candidate who is either too dumb to grasp that this is terrible messaging or too weak to say no to them.

17 thoughts on “Message discip-SQUIRREL!!!

  1. That is what I was compaining in an earlier post, he is running an old-school campaign: Personality and machinery. The problem is he hasn’t show any personal connection and the machinery hasn’t been very effective. “Messaging-by-committee” is not the only problem but the fact that he doesn’t have an overall theme at all. Let me elaborate:

    HCR has the “there’s a way” theme, things are tough but they can be better. Education as a base for the future. His image as a man who maybe doesn’t talk loud, but gets the work done.

    Leopoldo has the “the new Venezuela” angle, time for a generational change. He shows himself as young and energetic. His recent focus on security and crime has rebooted his campaign, giving him a second air.

    MCM has the element of being the only woman running. She is tough (after last night, I believe her) and wants people to take control of their own future. Her “popular capitalism” ideas want to transform society and government. She’ll fight for you.

    Diego Arria is talking about a necessary transition. He tells us that after Chavez, venezuela is in deep trouble. He will stay only for 3 years, fix what needs to be fixed and call for a “constituyente”. Not afraid of show his impressive resume and betting on the internet and social media for his campaign. He wants to bring Chavez and his cronies to justice.

    Pablo Medina… He’s still running? Why? Never mind.

    And there’s Pablo Perez. What’s his narrative? What he’s running on?

    One of his slogans is “Secure Future”, but he hasn’t shown specifics on how he will fight crime. He teases about his role as Zulia’s governor, but he hasn’t expained how he will expand that into the rest of the country. He talked in the first debate about creating a million jobs, but no specifics. He presented himself as the defender of decentralization, but how. Nada de nada.

    I can’t find so far a genuine glimpse of Pablo Perez vision for the country. If you’re running for president of any country, you must have a main idea of what you offering to the country. The presidency is not a CEO position (Yes, that was a hit on Mitt Romney. I don’t like him at all. He’s faker than a 3 dollar bill).

    This is not a personal attack against Pablo Perez. I don’t know him personally. Probably he is a good decent man. I wish him and his family well. He has continued the legacy of Manuel Rosales and Zulia is better with him that with one of the chavista losers that Chavez has imposed over the years. This is about running for president just because. If he wins the primary, OK. I’ll vote for him. But if this campaign is a preview of how he will run against Chavez, I expect a repeat of the 2006 landslide. I could be wrong, only time will tell.

    Last but not least, if your campaign manager is one of the biggest political dinasours in the country, that’s one HUGE. EPIC. FAIL. Really? Was him the best choice available? WEAK.


  2. Vox: “estamos casados con una propuesta…”
    Fondo: mega-foto de un PP con puño alzado.

    Something just doesn’t go with the other.


  3. Now, now… What’s with you and Pablo Pérez and Pixar? Buzz Lightyear and Doug the Dog? Come on… And then you go on with “Gertie the Dinosaur”-meme…

    As for the style, it is lacking, at least media-wise… I have not seen him personally (yet), and I was not as frustrated with him on the debates as many of you. But the campaign? I have not felt it. But he’s no Rosales drone: check Rosales once more.

    Let’s wait and see the next debate… And thank God -and the political environment- for the primaries.


  4. I think what happens is that the middle class thinks that the candidate needs to talk to them… the problem will come when this candidate, chosen by a myopic middle class, has to run against Chavez. Do you really think that HCR (as much as I like him) can beat Chavez? that’s the real question. I don’t think so. In one day Chavez destroys him because he’s a rich kid and can’t connect with the C and E groups. Simple. But sadly I think that in the primaries the middle class will come out to vote without thinking strategically… The candidate that beats Chavez needs to be popular, exactly like Pablo Perez. The transition candidate needs to be a bridge between what has been going on and the future… then a HCR can come and do a great presidency. Too bad people don’t seem to get that to beat Chavez we need to vote with our heads.


  5. I think you are overreacting. First, I don’t know what the context of this message is, but I seriously doubt that it’s target would be a regular Joe from Upata or Valle de la Pascua. Second, Why cannot PP walk and chew gum at the same time? He can give a hat tip to the Tarjeta Unica and then come back to his message. Given that AD and COPEI will find some resistance among the voters, and that some Ni-Ni are not enthusiastic about the new parties either (Borges/Rosales’ party? Yuck!), the Tarjeta Unica may be a palatable option.
    Are there more important issues to talk about? Absolutely, but there’s no reason to go postal when the candidates talk about things like Tarjeta Unica. Spare your indignation for better, more meaningful stuff…


  6. The visuals are dreadful, but I have no reason to think the strategy is faulty. After all, the tarjeta unica issue is a very cherish obsession of the urban middle class that are gonna be way over-represented in the 12F sample. As I see it, this is a very legitimate attempt (probably a failed one) to make inroads in the HCR base…


  7. When was this? Under what context? Was it a closed event to the UNT party? I agree with A. Barreda, you are overreacting and i’ll add that unless you frame the argument with answers to the questions above this seems missleading.


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