this is the kindest way to describe what VP Binay just did – he shot himself in the foot in picking a fight with president aquino. we see no strategic value or benefit for him or even any tactical advantage for his presidential campaign. all it has given him are more problems and harm.
- one of the important things you do for a political campaign is to build coalitions and expand your support base. this is probably one of the top 3 important things that need to be done in a political campaign. elections are won by having the most number of votes compared to your competitors. building coalitions and getting the biggest number of support base is a must, you assign this task to someone in your team to focus on it to make sure you are successful at it,
- by attacking president aquino, presidential binay did not only not do the above, he actually did the exact opposite of it – binay added another enemy to his already long list of enemies. binay is being attacked by many from all sides mainly as a result of the graft and corruption allegations that have been in full display on national TV at the senate. for many months now, most of what binay, his spokespersons and his children have been doing is deflect the mud and slime that has accumulated on binay’s face. they have been unsuccessful and they need aquino as an enemy like they need a bullet in their heads.
- inviting aquino as an enemy is to say the least a very unfortunate and highly ill-advised choice. noynoy aquino is the country’s most popular president and continue to remain popular even though he has had some problems in recent months. common sense tells you if you are to invite someone as an enemy, choose someone who is weaker than you or at least someone you know you can win over. binay instead chose the most powerful and most popular political figure in the country.
- not only is aquino a popular president, he has built his presidency and in fact his election campaign that got him a landslide victory in the last election on the platform of “anti-corruption”. now that on its own is already formidable. choosing aquino as an enemy is clearly political suicide for binay because binay is now known for being corrupt and dishonest. aquino. an anti-corruption champion is exactly the person that binay the corrupt does not want to face. people will compare the two and people will decide who to believe. who is more believable – on the issue of credibility, aquino, the anti-corruption champion or presidentiable Binay who has been charged with corruption? this is like the sinner picking a fight with the Pope.
- aquino has a large support base and allies across the political spectrum. together with aquino they will be defending aquino and can possibly start attacking binay as well. that is not even including yet the office of the president, malacanang itself which probably has the largest communication group in the government. we are already seeing this – the various spokespersons and allies of aquino including mar roxas have started to defend and counter attack binay, picking a fight with aquino means picking a fight with more than one person. binay now has to deal with each one of them.
- if binay was busy skirting the corruption allegations against him brought up at the senate, now aquino, malacanang and his allies will be added to that existing list. this new enemy that binay invited to join in will take up a lot of his time and effort, a clear distraction on the business of having himself elected as president. it will eat up his time and effort, taking away precious time and effort from persuading voters to elect him. getting the voters to like him is already very difficult given the corruption allegations; the attacks from Aquino, his allies and supporters will just make everything much more difficult if not impossible.
- all these is good news to binay’s opponents, the other presdiencitables. they are now all sitting in the sidelines watching the whole thing unfold, watching binay burn. they don’t even have to do anything to pull down binay. binay is doing it to himself plus aquino, his allies and supporters.
all of the above makes you wonder – why is binay doing this? aquino is the president of the country, he is the anti-corruption champion and more importantly, he is NOT running for president in 2016. pulling down aquino has no real obvious or hidden value to binay. even if binay succeeds in putting down aquino’s approval rating to zero, that will not do anything to binay’s own ratings nor will that bring down the ratings of the other presidentiables.
supporters of aquino will not move to binay to increase his ratings. aquino has nothing to do with the dramatic declines in binay’s election poll ratings. bringing aquino down will not result to stopping the declining trend of binay’s ratings nor will it reverse the trend. the cause of the decline are the graft and corruption charges that have been nationally televised during the senate hearings. to arrest the decline in his ratings is to answer those allegations and prove them wrong. binay has taken the strategy of ignoring the allegations, of not answering them of bringing up unrelated and imagined issues just so he does not directly answer the allegations. no amount of talk of other issues will resolve his problem. the label of corruption has been stuck on binay. putting in more stickers will not remove the corruption sicker. that is where the focus is of the people.
what could have been binay’s other option? it could have been a simple one – resign from the cabinet and say he is doing so so that he can focus on the preparations that are needed to be done for his presidential run and profusely thank aquino for allowing to serve the country in the capacities that were given to him. had binay done that, none of these things would have happened. no additional enemies and certainly no additional negative talk about binay. resigning amicably and profusely thanking aquino would have prevented aquino and his allies, even aquino’s anointed from attacking binay. that would have been the masterful exit.
the strategic thinking on this move of binay has failed. we do not even think there was some strategic thinking done on it. none was done as we do not see how binay would have benefited from this move. we can’t figure out even a single benefit. the only possible “benefit” was that binay has clearly declared himself as separate and not part of the aquino administration, the administration that he intends to replace. if this was the objective, it is completely unnecessary and totally worthless. we already know binay is not part of the administration, we know that from his actions and words and that of malacanang, telling us something we already know has no value.
if he wants to present his own platform of government that is different from the administration, he can do that just by coming out with a press release or a major speech on policy. breaking up with the administration and attacking it was unnecessary.
bottom line is with what binay did he gained absolutely nothing but lost a hell lot of things. this is a case of not just getting a rock and hitting your head with it, it is getting a whole truckload of rocks and hitting your head with each rock until the truck is emptied of rocks.
just when things are heating up in the pre-2016 election campaign and new stars are emerging, Grace Poe and Duterte, based on the most recent Pulse Asia survey, Mar Roxas comes out as still alive and not yet down and out as others have been saying or as others are wishing.
Roxas in the last Pulse Asia survey shows a magnificent gain of +6% points, now at 10% from his previous 4%. he more than doubled his rating. Roxas is now a strong 4th. he is back to his previous rating of low double digit numbers.
this rating shows he is definitely not out of the presidentiables race. what would be interesting for him is his rating in the next survey. if Roxas sustains the double digit rating and specially if he gains, then we can say he has recovered and reversed the trend to an uptrend.
so much attention has been given to Grace Poe’s rating while very little has been given to roxas. we’re not saying the attention given to Poe is undeserving because it is. Poe over taking the previous poll leader Binay is a great achievement and worth the praise and attention.
but looking at the numbers – there are only two presidentiables who have gotten significant gains in this Pulse Asia survey – Poe is one of them, +16% points which is astronomical and the other is Roxas which is a +6% points. the increase in number for Roxas may not look much, a +6% points but it actually is considering where he was before just a 4% rating. Roxas more than doubled his rating in the latest survey. a number that is being doubled is very, very impressive even if it is a small base.
Duterte also gained, a +3% points to 15% from the previous 12% but that is not statistically different with the +/- 3 margin of error. statistically speaking, Duterte has not gained anything.
what is even more interesting is that both Poe and Roxas gained. one did not gain at the expense of the other. that is a good sign. it means each one has its own base support and they are gaining from non-admin candidates. this of course can change in the coming surveys but for now, the numbers are looking good for both of them.
the election is months away and except for Binay, the candidates have not officially declared themselves as candidates. time is on the side of Roxas. he has a lot of time to build his coalitions and support base. there are still a lot that he can do.
but what are these things that he can do? that is another topic on another time.