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“Sí se pueda is right!,” says Clinton. If you are going to say it, at least try to get it right.

January 22nd, 2008 · 17 Comments

If you have been around Latino politics in America or even the United Farm Workers, who today endorsed Hillary Clinton, you would know the phrase, “Sí se puede.” It is roughly translated, as “Yes, it can be done”or when chanted by a large group, it connotes, “Yes, we can.” Hillary Clinton, who likes to remind us how hard she has fought for Latino Americans for 35 years, should know it after all this time. It really isn’t that difficult, but she managed to botch it up today. It is bad enough that my ears can barely tolerate George W. Bush’s mangled Spanish and English… and now this? Please Senator Clinton, next time you test drive your Spanish, consult with your campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, Fabiola Rodriguez-Ciampoli, or even one of your Latino co-chairs. It really is one of the easier languages to learn and might actually make some of us feel like you are being more genuine in your outreach. Come on, you still represent New York, a state with a sizable Spanish speaking population. Barack Obama can pronounce the phrase correctly, even though some have taken issue with his campaign signs’ missing accent mark on the í.

You can listen to the gaffe here: “Sí se pueda is right!”

Edited to add: I am not suggesting that any of the presidential candidates have to speak Spanish. I would just hope that when and if they try to speak the language that they get some practice or just double check the basics of pronunciation. Senator Clinton has discussed her work with migrant farm worker children and has made substantial efforts to reach out to Latino voters in this election cycle. By the same token, I do think that Latino-Americans should continue to improve our command of the English language so that we may fully participate in the political system.

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Tags: Barack Obama · Hillary Clinton · Patti Solis Doyle · Presidential Elections

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 EYES OF TEXAS // Jan 23, 2008 at 8:44 am

    The only thing that is genuine about this fraud is that she will say or do anything to win the election. Evryone by now should have realized that she is not about doing anything for anyone except herself. My only hope is that Hillbill and Obama stay at each others throats long enough to expose who they really are, the empty skirt and the empty suit.

  • 2 El Loco // Jan 23, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Hillary gets one vowel wrong and you get on her case? That’s better Spanish than I’ve heard plenty of Latinos speak.

  • 3 Felicia // Jan 23, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    My Spanish is terrible, but I cringed, too, when I heard that.

  • 4 webmaster // Jan 23, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    El Loco, you are right in that this isn’t worth crucifying Hillary Clinton over. In the whole scheme of things, this is rather minor, but I think that for someone who has spent a lot of time in the Latino community, she should get this one phrase down correctly.

    We should be more upset that Hillary Clinton has voted for the Patriot Act twice, the authorization for President Bush to go to war, and the border wall.

  • 5 Latino Pundit // Jan 23, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    I blogged about getting the accent wrong and the phrase being then, “if we can,” as said about the Obama camp.

  • 6 Michaelr // Jan 24, 2008 at 11:04 am

    We all say stupid things, especially attempting to speak another language. We should focus on the fact that Hillary voted twice to implement the Patriot Act, and has not used her power in the Senate to push any significant cause. What she has done in the U.S. Senate is a forecast of what she will do as President. Absolutely nothing different than what George W. Bush has begun

  • 7 Jo // Jan 24, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    HILLARY CLINTON OPPOSES ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS DRIVER’S LICENCE.

    THIS MEANS THEY WILL HAVE TO DRIVE ILLEGALLY TO GO TO WORK!

    THIS MEANS THEY CANT GET INSURANCE FOR THEIR CARS!

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2007-11-14-clinton-immigration_N.htm

  • 8 El Loco // Jan 24, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    We should be more upset that Hillary Clinton has voted for the Patriot Act twice, the authorization for President Bush to go to war, and the border wall.

    Well, Edwards voted for the Patriot Act once – he wasn’t in the Senate the second time – and for the authorization for President Bush to go to war and Obama voted in favor of funding the fence and I don’t see anyone giving them grief over that. Actually, if you go to an anti-immigration website – Americans for Fair Immigration – Clinton has a worse rating than Obama (which means that she has voted for more pro-immigration measures than Obama).

  • 9 Michaelr // Jan 24, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    And I bet you, all those Latinos following Hillary to King Taco, and cheering her on don’t even know that, or don’t care about her record on the issues, or worse they’ve already evolved into Spaniards.

  • 10 El Loco // Jan 25, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    And I bet you, all those Latinos following Hillary to King Taco, and cheering her on don’t even know that, or don’t care about her record on the issues, or worse they’ve already evolved into Spaniards.

    To paraphrase Shakespeare, “it is a coment made by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

  • 11 Michaelr // Jan 25, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Then you have limited understanding. Or worse, you believe White America has your best interests, and you are brown on the outside and white on the inside.

  • 12 The Kaiser // Jan 25, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Maybe El Loco is a Leslie Sanchez follower…one of those Republicanos who watch FOX news, and endear themselves to Bill O’Reilly and his gang of feces.

  • 13 Regina Rodriguez // Jan 26, 2008 at 10:36 am

    I’d say “si se puede” might be more appropriate than “sí se puede,” but then I’m easily discouraged. I’d also like to quote Jay Leno, “This is America. Speak Spanish!”

  • 14 El Loco // Jan 28, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Hey Keiser, I can let some things slip, but NOBODY calls me a Republican – or Republicano – and leaves it at that.

    My point is this: if misspelled Michael wants to criticize Hillary, that’s fine. She wasn’t my original candidate and, when the time comes I may not vote for her. But I’d rather have him – or you – point out what is it you don’t like about her instead of “blah blah.”

    And I bet you, all those Latinos following Hillary to King Taco, and cheering her on don’t even know that, or don’t care about her record on the issues, or worse they’ve already evolved into Spaniards.

    What’s that about? Her record about what issue? What is it?

  • 15 Michaelr // Jan 28, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    If you don’t know Hillary’s voting record in the Senate, you’re not worth communicating with. “Blah Blah.”

  • 16 Pocos per locos // Feb 21, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    This is the old political cholo out of Houston, Tejas…

    Aren’t we tired of this types of phonies? Here they go again in the latino voter playbook pandering to us with mangled espanish….

    I thought the phony boloney days of the ” Viva..(fill in the blank for the pandering candidate)” campaigns were over ?

    I had thought this type of politics went the way of spanish california fantasy days with senoritas and caballeros living in vast mission style haciendas.

    Hilaria no la puede….

  • 17 El capitan // Mar 6, 2008 at 2:48 am

    You guys are all retarded. Billery is a mangy cunt.

    Partido por la Victoria del Pueblo!

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