It’s the Brazilians, Stupid – By Mac Margolis | Foreign Policy

Fun campaign story on the “James Carville of Brazil”:

These days the Brazilian consultant to beat is Santana. After running winning campaigns at home for Workers’ Party (PT) President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and his successor, Dilma Rousseff, Santana has gone on to lead dark horses and dullards to power across the Americas, from onetime coup-maker Ollanta Humala in Peru to the wonky economist Danilo Medina in the Dominican Republic. But in Venezuela, he had his work cut out for him. Chávez was convalescing from three straight bouts of surgery for an unspecified cancer after doctors removed a baseball-sized tumor from his pelvis. The ailment kept him shuttling back and forth to Havana for weeks for punishing bouts of radiation therapy that left him bloated and exhausted. His challenger, Henrique Capriles — smart, youthful, and telegenic — was running at the head of the first truly unified opposition campaign in recent memory. (It says a lot that Capriles also hired a team of Brazilian consultants.)

via It’s the Brazilians, Stupid – By Mac Margolis | Foreign Policy.


4 thoughts on “It’s the Brazilians, Stupid – By Mac Margolis | Foreign Policy”

  1. “It’s brazilians, stupid” is the proof of excellency in Brazilian marketing. However the article fails to mention Duda Mendonca’s pivotal role in Lula’s 2002 election campaign, and in Menem’s presidential campaign in Argentina. This article proves something that I have always thought were true about elections: who invest more money on marketing wins elections in Brazil.

  2. Santana was a former reporter who studied and had his life base in communications business, just as Brazil was consolidating its return to democracy. He got a lift from electoral authorities who set aside free television time for candidates, fueling a boom in primetime campaign spots. For Brazilian publicists, who had learned how to make slick TV ads for a nation hooked on soap operas, flogging politicians wasn’t rocket science; they quickly learned how to tell a story in 30 seconds. Santana has made electing socialists his specialty. One of his clients is Mauricio Funes, El Salvador’s former Marxist guerrilla in chief. Another is the Peruvian firebrand Ollanta Humala, whom Santana repackaged as the Lula of the Andes. Last month he expanded his election empire even further, shepherding Danilo Medina to power in the Dominican Republic and running the winning campaign for Angola’s José Eduardo dos Santos, a Marxist who has ruled since 1979.

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