Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Two surprises

There were two real surprises yesterday, at least from where I sit. One of them was that Pora didn't do all that well. It got less than the 3% needed and so won't be in Parliament. That means they're out and have to weather the next 5 years in exile before they can try again.

Their problem was that they didn't capture the protest vote which I think naturally should have gone more to them. They could have made an effective argument that they were the real heirs of the Maidan and the OR but they didn't. Maybe they didn't want to be considered opposing Yuschenko and that's why. But the upshot is that they are out.

The commentators today say they put all their eggs in the Klitchko basket and that is true too. He was Pora everywhere you looked and I think they banked on his popularity to put them over the top. But it didn't hit the voters in the right spot apparently and that may be a compliment to them; they weren't swayed by what we would call celebrity. Besides their TV advertising later was awful. (A shot showing Klitchko holding a hawk. Close-up of Klitchko and the hawk with Klitchko trying to stare it down. He works his jaw muscles--really, really works his jaw muscles. He let's it go; it flies off. Close-up of Klitchko. "Pora (it's time)" he says. Just awful.)

The consolation prize is that it looks like he will come in second in the mayor's race.

The other surprise was Lytvyn. He had as much advertising out there as any of them. And he supported about 7 mini circuses around town. I would say he spent about as much as the bigger boys and came up short, under the 3%. So he won't be there either.

His theme was bringing all parties together. That might have worked in another year but not this year. It looks like protest was the theme. In a way, it's a pity because he was instrumental in the OR. But recently he seemed to be as much a politico as some of the worst.

So he's out and Pora is out. What to do in the wilderness?

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