Three days after the Opposition primary, Chávez launched a famously weird attack on the winner Henrique Capriles Radonski over and over in “cadena nacional”. But that was never going to be a winning strategy for October. You don’t reach the median voter with fire and brimstone, you reach him with telenovela fare – which is why you can be sure that, now that he has those majunches out of his system, Chávez will go back on a love offensive soon enough, probably even before the official campaign begins on July 1st.
Enter legendary Brazilian campaign operative João Santana.
Santana was the man behind Lula’s 2006 reelection and Dilma Rouseff’s 2010 victory. He was also involved in Mauricio Funes’s 2009 win in El Salvador and even Olanta Humala admitted that he talked with him prior to his victory in Peru last year. He’s currently helping Danilo Medina, the candidate of the incumbent party for the upcoming presidential election in Dominican Republic next May.
Now, brazilian newspaper O Globo reports that the Chávez campaign hired Santana to “Lulify” him, helping him find a more conciliatory, moderate message that might appeal to the political center. Given recent developments, it might also be the preparation of a “Plan B” campaign if Chávez cannot run for reelection and someone else takes the baton.