John McCain and Barack Obama speak to LULAC as “Latin Lovers”

July 9th, 2008 · 8 Comments

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.

Tags: Antonio Villaraigosa · Barack Obama · Elvira Arellano · Immigration · Iraq War · John McCain · LULAC

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 PunditMom // Jul 10, 2008 at 7:09 am

    Milbank’s “humor” often falls short.

  • 2 Xxxicana // Jul 10, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Great post! You are so right about mainstream media’s treatment and portrayal of Latinos (e.g., gangbangers, maids, the Taco Bell Chihuahau, and the worst yet, Taco John’s “Whiplash” the monkey). Milbank’s humor doesn’t just fall short, but plays on the jingoistic stereotyping of Latinos and the fear that as our numbers increase, more and more politicos will have to “pander” to our needs.

  • 3 Wendy Carrillo // Jul 10, 2008 at 11:03 am

    hahaha. i would have to disagree. i think the video portrays pandering quite well. its synical and ironic with the closing of “no me embarase” – “i did not get pregnant”.
    we, who read your blog, know the importance of our latino community and our voting power, but we know we are important this week. NALEO, LULAC, NCLR, the same people attend all these events. The nominees repeat the same thing… the sketch would have worked better on The Daily Show, since The Washington Post is suppose to be a *real* news group, so some may think this is a real news story. is there a real version of what happened? i would really like them to do the same kinda sketch at the NAACP! but that already happen didnt it?

  • 4 BettyM // Jul 10, 2008 at 11:06 am

    At one time I used to think that journalists were an elite group of individuals who reported facts….but they report garbage most of the time. He is just another so-called professional who thinks he is funny.

  • 5 jammer // Jul 10, 2008 at 11:20 am

    I really hate it and feel insulted/raped when Politicians get up in front of a Latino group and feel compelled to say something in Spanish, which they do so very poorly and not realizing how insulting they are. If you are going to speak to me in my language, then speak it equally as well or better then I. By the way I speak your English as well if not better then you. The other thing I dislike,intensely, is the feeling I get that these Politicos treat us as if we don’t understand the issues as well as they. I still do not have a good feeling for either candidate and will vote while I hold my nose

  • 6 Michaelr // Jul 10, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    If this was supposed to be funny…excuse me for not laughing.

  • 7 Latino Consultant // Jul 13, 2008 at 7:00 am

    Good comment. How come is isn’t pandering when the candidates talk to workers at plants?

    What was amazing is that NPR called LULAC ‘mainstream’ organization placing them between the US Hispanic Chamber on the right and the National Council on the left. How did they figure that one ? Does anyone know anything about our community (except for those in it)?

  • 8 Anna // Aug 6, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Whenever candidates campaign in minority neighborhoods the MSM routinely condemn it as “pandering.”

    But when candidates campaign day after day in majority white states like Missouri and Iowa, talking about inane issues like flag pins, and interrupting speeches for the pledge of allegiance in response to hecklers, it’s just called “campaigning.” Any and all attention to white voters, is just and right and normal. Candidates are supposed to earn their votes. But according to the MSM, minority voters are just supposed to fall in line, no matter what.

    Latinos aren’t supposed to expect candidates to visit our cities, or to have breakfast in our neighborhood diners. We don’t get to shake their hands, or take pictures with them, or stand behind them on the podium when they give speeches. (The exception was Hillary Clinton. But the DNC took it from her.)

    Neither candidate is working for our votes. And then they wonder why turnout is low.

    Thank God for the internet, because we certainly can’t rely on the MSM.

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