Reaching Out En Espanol

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

The Obama campaign is actively pursuing Latino votes.  McSame?  Apparently he’s in a real 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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  1. Thanks for reading.

  2. for writing about this davidseth.

    I’ve been really frustrated that immigration policy hasn’t been addressed in this campaign at all. The silence surrounding the enormous ICE raids over the last few months is deafening.

    But I’m really proud of the folks at The Sanctuary for their efforts to get the candidates on record.  

  3. This, among countless other areas, is one that troubles me greatly.

    The dreadful, inhumane treatment that so many of these, albeit, illegals, (or, often, legals) have suffered in this country brings tears.  They come here, no matter how, with “hope” to try and better their lot and THEY’RE not LAZY — they work so hard, day in and day out, with so little recompense and, certainly, no benefits.  And, in reality, had there been no CAFTA Agreement, perhaps, these poor souls would never have come here in the first place.  It is WE who have impoverished them in their own country.

    And, I concur with NSP, what a dreadful thing for the “raids” on these poor souls!  (But, in an even larger sense, WE, the American people, have had even a more insidious RAID upon us, in disguise.)

    What a f…..g inhumane country we are!

    But, I guess it ALL fits into place in the ideaology of the neocons and — all those who have joined them!

    I am a peaceful person and I believe in peaceful protest — but I’m not sure that’s actually going to work in our current circumstances.  (And, really, I do think Obama means the best for us, but I think his hands will be tied in his abilities to do all that he envisions, and I believe in his sincere wishes to make a “CHANGE.”)

    I guess we have to try and hope, as always.  

  4. davidseth, that was just a terrific video.  My Spanish isn’t that good, and I was watching the vocalist not the subtitles much of the time…but even so, the point came across.

    Especially the “Obama…amigo” part.

    LOL!  It’s my Friday night and everybody is asleep ’cause it’s their Sunday night–so thanks for posting this and giving me a big 😀

  5. Of humble birth and without pretension …

    … of course, this was for the Texas primary, when its expected of Democratic candidates to appeal to Hispanic voters.

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