When Chavez recognizes his defeat: tales of a rudderless campaign

Yesterday we had two quite extraordinary events that really reflect how bad is Chavez doing and how clueless he has become.  In chronological order.

Chavez had the bad idea to make a provocation in Monagas. True, it was the state where he was the most voted in 2006, I think, but after the major PDVSA oil spill over in Maturin's drinking water and the clumsy attempt at the regime to hide the ecological crime and force people to drink it anyway, he all but lost the state. That is, it might still be chavista enough for him to squeak a 1% victory but with the governor running against him now, and a lot of the local pols that know better, Chavez chances are dim.

Capriles a few days ago held a massive rally in Maturin, the battered capital. Even folks like yours truly were stunned. Thus Chavez felt the need to reply.  It is always a bad sign when one side feels compelled to campaign in the final days in what is supposed to be their turf. Usually, when that happens it is because they want a smashing victory and thus try to increase their margin there.  This is not the case with Chavez, his campaign is trying to avoid the humiliation to lose Monagas.

And Chavez made things worse.

First, it became known quite fast that the turnout at Maturin, as respectable as it may be, was made by at least half of out of towners when not out of staters, so to speak, if you forgive my made up words.  Not only Maturin at large snubbed him, but apparently army Hercules like planes where used to ferry in a few people.....

If that were not bad enough, to be so clumsily found out in bringing people to Maturin that may have never set a foot in their lives in Monagas, the speech made things worse, way worse.

"El 7 de octubre no se trata de cualquier cosa lo que está en juego. Puede haber gente nuestra que pudiera estar inconforme por fallas de nuestro Gobierno, que no arreglaron la calle, que no llegó la luz, que se fue el agua, que no conseguí empleo, que no me han dado mi casa. Eso podrá ser cierto en muchos casos y yo asumo la autocrítica (...) y uno de mis compromisos para el próximo período es mayor eficiencia en el Gobierno [...] no está en juego si asfaltaron o no la calle, si me han dado la casa o no, o si peleamos o estoy bravo con los dirigentes regionales. ¡No! Lo que está en juego es mucho más que eso camarada: Nos estamos jugando la vida de la patria".

"On October 7 is not a small thing at stake. There might be people who might be unhappy about our failures of our government, that we did not fix the street, that there are power outages, that the water is gone, that I got no job, that you have not given me my house. That may be true in many cases and I assume the self criticism of the governmet[...] whether the road was paved is not at stake, if I have have been given a home, or if I'm angry at and fighting with regional leaders. No, what is at stake is much more than that comrade: We're risking the life of the fatherland. "

That is, not only Chavez recognizes that his government has not been very good, but he asks people to vote for him for the sake of it.  A little bit as if Carter had asked the US to vote for him because next rescue operation in Iran would turn out differently.  Chavez knows he is lost.

With a cheap and tacky look......
Wiser men would have taken to bed after that, but not Chavez. To make sure he nailed his point he returned to Caracas to spend until the wee hours of the night in a link to China which was sending a satellite for us in space. Already wits asked whether the satellite was going to be used to count the number of potholes in Venezuela's roads.....

I will spare you the dythirambic account of the regime of this satellite launch, you have AVN for that if you can stomach it.  The point here is that I wonder if Chavez, really, really thinks that people are stupid enough to think that a new satellite will solve their problems when the launch of the first one has done little to improve their lives, unless they  went to play video games at the regimes cyber cafes....

I am sorry, but people, even the chavista lumpen, cannot be that stupid all of the time.  Chavez is losing it, and not only at the ballot.