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domingo, octubre 05, 2008

Reaching Out en Espanol

The Obama campaign is actively pursuing Latino votes. McSame? Apparently he's in a real double bind about this, caught between his strongly anti immigration base and his previous, more moderate positions, his previous positions and the 2008 Republican Platform.
By now, I'm sure you've seen the Mariachis for Obama video:



This is a riot, in part because the subtitles are, well, they're en Espanol tambien. Not important. Maybe it's an attempt to get the votes of Spanish speakers who cannot hear the lyrics. But you get message even if you don't speak Spanish or Spanglish: Obama is wonderful and has an uplifting story to tell. I play this over and over again sin pretencion, because I love mariachis.

Does this video break any new ground because it's in Spanish? Does an appeal to voters in a US election break new ground because it's in Spanish? No, not at all.

Look at this from 48 years ago. Seems that in the 1960 election, Jackie Kennedy did a strong ad (with terrible production values) in Spanish directed at the Latino community in LA (h/t Damn Mexicans):



In English she's saying this:
“Dear friends, I am the wife of Senator John F. Kennedy candidate for the presidency of the United States. In these times of great danger when world peace is threatened by Communism we need a firm hand in the White House, a leader capable of guiding our destinies. My husband will watch out for the interests of all the sectors of society that need the protection of a humanitarian government. For the future of our children and in order to achieve world peace, please vote for the Democratic Party on November 8th.

“Long Live Kennedy!”
So, as Citizen Orange points out about Obama ads in Spanish, "this is not a new happening because Hispanics want to replace the English language, but instead it's a tradition." Exactly.

Meanwhile, the Obama campaign responded to a long questionnaire from The Sanctuary about immigration policy back in mid-September. The responses seem to have flown in under the traditional media's radar. Surprise. Was that because the McSame campaign refused to answer the questionnaire? As a result, The Sanctuary writes:
Since the deadline for responding to The Sanctuary's questionnaire on immigration reform and other issues of concern to Latino voters has long passed without any word from the McCain campaign, today we are releasing in full the responses graciously provided to us by Senator Obama.

While our original intent was to present a meaningful side-by-side comparison of the policies and positions of all presidential candidates in order to better inform voters, Senator McCain's unwillingness to answer our questions, or to go on the record with his positions on the specific details covered in the questionnaire, has made this impossible. Senator McCain's reluctance is all the more troubling in light of the fact that his previously published positions, available on his website, appear to directly contradict those in the official platform coming out of the Republican National Convention earlier this month. This has left many of us who are concerned about immigration reform at a loss to know exactly where the Senator actually stands on vital issues.

I don't agree with many of Obama's positions on immigration. I think he could do much, much better. But you know what? I think he's educable on this. And McSame's waffling around on the issue and refusing to answer The Sanctuary questionnaire is, frankly, scary: who knows what kind of craziness he would enact at the behest of his rightwing, border patrolling friends.

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