On Tuesday, Barack Obama and John McCain both spoke to the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in Washington, D.C. Dana Milbank of the Washington Post did a stupid skit called “Latin Lovers” to show us how both candidates were “pandering.” Do you think that if the two presidential candidates were addressing the NAACP that he would title his piece “Jungle Fever” or “Jungle Love”? His short column was bad enough, but this fool really did take the time to film this sketch complete with crappy mock Spanish. Shame on the Washington Post for even allowing Milbank to do this. How hard is it to find someone who won’t insult us by calling politicians who come to our events “Latin Lovers” let alone find a journalist who actually speaks better Spanish than this?
As for the actual speeches from McCain and Obama, there were no real surprises. McCain seemed to focus on economics and small business development, but he didn’t address immigration reform other than to mention it toward the end of his address. Obama appeared later in the afternoon and was introduced by Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa (uh, get back to work Villaraigosa, let one of the other Latino politicos in D.C. introduce the Democratic nominee). Obama talked about immigration reform in the context of racial diversity and economic development, providing him with a warmer reception and more excitement from the attendees.
Matthew Continetti from The Weekly Standard pointed out some of the flaws in Obama’s attempt to portray himself as a champion of immigration reform. Obama did not come out swinging for immigration reform last year, and he was noticeably silent regarding the Elvira Arellano case in his home state as well. If you don’t remember, Elvira Arellano was seeking asylum in a Chicago church, and she ended up being deported leaving behind her U.S. born son.
While immigration reform is a key issue for many Latinos, Roberto Lovato points out that the war ranks as the #1 issue for Latinos. Note how the Department of Defense, the Army, and Navy are sponsors of this LULAC event. McCain didn’t talk about the war, but he did mention the contributions of Latino troops. Big deal… we already know that we pour our blood and sweat on the battle field in high numbers for little reward or recognition. If McCain really wants to do something for our troops, he would increase G.I. Bill benefits or work to bring them home instead of insinuating that we will be in Iraq for 100 years. Obama also could have addressed the war with LULAC, as he sought to portray himself as the anti-war candidate from the start of his campaign, but he gave a standard “feel good” speech from the center. It will be interesting to see if both McCain and Obama deliver any punches at the NCLR conference in the next few days. They could definitely improve their talks and offer more specifics. Stay tuned for more.