Dirty politics is an unfortunate part of democratic politics. We could ignore it . . . if that was all that Henrique Capriles had to worry about. But it isn’t. The bigger worry is whether he will even be allowed to stand for office.
Remember Jack Ryan, Obama's opponent in the 2004 Senatorial campaign? He was forced to withdraw after the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets sued (five years after the fact) to have his divorce records unsealed in an unprecedented request. Barack Obama eventually called for Ryan's divorce papers not to be injected into the race, but did not restrain his backers, who were furiously fighting for their release (sound familiar?). Once unsealed, allegations of Ryan's sordid sexual conduct (with his wife, mind you) were enough to force him to withdraw, allowing Barack Obama to run unopposed. Just as Chavez likes to.
The danger for Capriles is that he is clearly one of the more formidable challengers for President Chavez. (Hence, the need to try to smear him so quickly.) Despite the central government’s attempts to hamstring his ability to administer the state of Miranda, Capriles still polls extremely well, and his numbers place him well above other opposition candidates.
make the effort to look out of his plane's window at the wildfires burning through the state (while refusing all requests for emergency aid). Or New Jersey, where Obama is now demanding that Chris Christie return $217M spent by Jon Corzine on a tunnel to nowhere. Or ask Nikki Haley about how the administration is refusing to allow Boeing to create over 1,000 jobs in her state, instead demanding that any new facilities be built in a "blue state". Talk about "hamstrung..."
After his first year as governor, I spoke with Capriles about the risks of running for office against Chavez. We met at a rally he held a couple hours outside of Caracas. “It’s good to have many leaders,” he told me, “because he will annihilate that one leader.”
True, that. Although the current Republican field looks weak, thank heavens for their deep bench. Ryan, Christie, Rubio, Walker, Perry, Haley, Bachman...Obama and his orcs may be able to take a few of them down with smears and cut-blocks, but he cannot outlast their onslaught of better ideas presented by reasonable candidates.
A final thought on Capriles:
...he has no illusions. Trying to defeat an authoritarian leader at the ballot box is never easy, if they even let you run at all.
Which may be why the chaff (Trump, Huckabee) have fallen off quickly, leaving only the mad (Gingrich, Ron Paul) jostling to be the first to get impaled by the enemy's swords, while the brave (see above) lay their plans and sharpen their weapons in anticipation of the great battle that lies ahead...
Soul brothers, indeed...