Saturday, August 02, 2008

Obama, Latin America, and Latinos

Thanks to Mike for sending me a link to the new McCain ad in Spanish. Accompanied by a thumping beat, it simply shows excerpts from Obama's Germany speech, where he lists a large number of countries, and notes that he doesn't mention a single Latin American country. It is an effective ad if you want to make the point that he is not interested in Latin America. However, it tries to make the jump that it also means Obama is not interested in Latinos. I don't see the ad convincing at all in that regard.


Boli-Nica 9:30 PM  

I think it was a dumb ad - tho did get some juice in the press.
It could come across pretty bad among its intended target, voters who get their news from Spanish-language media. Obama's German speech received a lot of ink and airtime- and emphasized Obama's pointed rejection of Bushist uniltaralism. Fact many of the stories the next day came from European press agencies might have even help drive the point further.

Anonymous,  11:02 AM  

However, it tries to make the jump that it also means Obama is not interested in Latinos.

When McCain travelled to Latin America most recently the point was made by nearly every commentator I saw or listened to that the political reasoning for the trip was, more-or-less thus: Latino's care about Latin America therefore a visit to Latin AMerica means you care about Latinos.

I don't know how true that reasoning is. I tend to think there is some validity to it, though, of course, Latinos in the US also have myriad other concerns.

Greg Weeks 4:54 PM  

I would need to see more evidence to believe that Latinos in the U.S. make the jump from "mentioning Latin America" to "meeting the needs of Latinos in the United States." Poll after poll shows Latinos, regardless of country of origin (perhaps with the exception of some Cuban Americans) concerned mostly with bread and butter issues, not Latin America itself.

Anonymous,  9:05 AM  

Two things:

First, maybe I’m overly cynical, but I don’t think the American electorate—whether Latino or not—cares to tax their critical thinking faculties when it comes to voting in a national elections. National elections are more emotional than rational, methinks. So, while in essence I agree that this is a leap or “jump” in logic, logic has never seemed to me to be a factor in these things. I can very easily see some voters falling for the McCain line. But in the end, it won’t matter. McCain’s fighting an uphill battle for the Hispanic vote.

Second, why would you think that Latino voters are any different than their non-Latino counterparts? I have yet to meet any American concerned more with foreign policy than with bread and butter issues.

Greg Weeks 9:09 AM  

I have made the latter point many times on this blog. The Latin America position of the candidates is largely irrelevant, but this only underlines the fact that the ad will not work. Even if someone did make the jump in logic, the issue would still be about 7th or 8th in their list of priorities.

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