Apparently Chavez isn't completely blind to what is going on in his country besides visits by Hollywood stars and his attempts to rescue his reputation.
In 2008, he pledges to be a kinder, gentler president that is going to address things like the trash in the streets and the increase in crime (which includes kidnappings and murders).
Here is the article from Reuters. (By the way, Reuters is the same news agency that declared the last referendum was won by Chavez before it was officially announced by CNE. I saw the story on Yahoo! while watching Globovision on the web. It was curious that the report came out so fast. It was up for a bit, and then pulled down. After the announcement came from the CNE that the referendum lost, then they posted a story indicating such.)
He's very magnanomous by pardoning the plotters of the coup in 2002, but not as magnanomous as the government was when they pardoned him and all of his cohorts that attempted a coup in 1992. Those coup plotters were pardoned unconditionally, and the pardon extended to all involved. Chavez is not as generous. Some polic officers won't be included along with others who fled the country.
But, maybe his defeat will at least get him to come back to earth a bit and face the needs of his constituents, not the lofty ideals of 21st century socialism.
At least the author was honest and did mention that this softening could be temporary. Maybe with a few victories under his belt, Chavez will once again feel invincible. Let's hope not.