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Sarah Palin chosen by McCain as VP candidate – Is she a friend of the Latino community?

August 30th, 2008 · 8 Comments

Yesterday John McCain shocked many by selecting Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential nominee. Palin, a 44 year old mother of five, has been the governor of Alaska for nearly two years, and prior to that, her other experiences in electoral politics were when she served as mayor of Wasilla and on its city council. Wasilla is a town of about 6,500 people.

When you think about the Latino vote, most probably don’t even consider Alaska, but about 5.6% of the state’s 670,000 people are of Hispanic origin. I thought it would be interesting to see where she stands on many of the issues facing Latino voters. So when I visited OntheIssues.com, the non-partisan site for positions on political leaders, I couldn’t find much for Governor Palin. For instance, she doesn’t have a recorded opinion on foreign policy, free trade, or immigration.

We do know that Sarah Palin is socially conservative. She is pro-life, and it is reported that she doesn’t even believe that abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest. That’s a pretty extreme view, considering the trauma that some women would feel having to carry a fetus to term that was conceived resulting from an act of violence. That kind of extreme pro-life view would be hard to reconcile with victim’s rights, but if you are against any and all abortions, then this might very well be ok with you. Maybe the more socially conservative Latinos will find this appealing, along with the fact that she has five children, but I tend to think that the raza are going to vote in their economic interests this time around.

Sarah Palin also worships at the Juneau Christian Center, which is affiliated with the Pentacostal Assemblies of God. A year ago, I wrote a blog post about how more Latinos were joining Pentacostal churches, so maybe Palin’s religion would appeal to yet again the more socially conservative and religious members of our community. Being Catholic seemed to increase JFK’s favor with the Hispanic community in 1960, but I would like to think that our electorate has evolved to see beyond religion so much. We are electing public servants, not pastors, preachers, or popes.

Sarah Palin is a big supporter of gun owner’s rights. She is a lifetime member of the NRA and supports D.C.’s ban on handguns. The Latino community experiences high incidences of gun violence. According to the Centers for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, via the Brady Center, we lost an average of 8 lives of Latino origin every day in 2004. During that same year, homicide was the leading cause of fire-arm related deaths for Latinos. The gun control question would be a good one to ask Sarah Palin on behalf of our community, as many of us live in urban areas instead of the vast wilderness that she comes from.

On the issue of the Iraq war, which has emerged as one of the top issues for Latinos, Palin can’t seem to articulate what she thinks other than to “respect McCain’s position on that.” However, her oldest son is about to be deployed to Iraq so I’m sure that she’ll be developing a more coherent position real soon.

I’m not too impressed with Governor Palin, as others have pointed out that if McCain wanted to pick a Republican woman who had more visibility that he would have picked Olympia Snowe, Christine Todd Whitman, or Kay Bailey Hutchison. However, I will say that Hillary Clinton supporters who were in the race for the issues will likely not be too pleased with Palin as she is on the opposite end of the political spectrum on many issues that Hillary advocated for. I certainly can’t wait to see Palin and Biden face off in the VP debates.

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Tags: Abortion rights · Evangelicals · Hillary Clinton · Immigration · Iraq War · John McCain · Pentacostal churches · Presidential Elections · Sarah Palin

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mike // Aug 30, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    Ladies and Gentlemen….John McCain in, an act of desperation.

  • 2 bert // Aug 31, 2008 at 3:33 am

    This should be considered an insult to the intelligence of women everywhere. Does McCain actually believe that women are shallow and dumb enough not to see see through this desperate and thinly veiled attempt to reach out to Hillary supporters? “Help me shatter the glass ceiling!”?? Lady, do we look stupid to you? 18 million people didn’t vote for Hillary becasue she is a woman, 18 million voted for her because she is a tough, smart, experienced woman. I won’t vote for Palin simply based on the fact that she apparently has no self-respect. McCain has cynically put his political career ahead of the fate of our country.

  • 3 Michaelr // Aug 31, 2008 at 7:33 am

    Sarah Palin doesn’t exactly know what the word “Latino” actually comprises. She vaguely remembers brown skinned people living as indentured servants on farms, working the fields harvesting potatoes in her home state of Idaho. But they were never called “Latinos.” She remembers them as wetbacks. Are they related to Latinos in some way? According to the California Coalition for Latinos these poor migrant workers aren’t human beings to be concerned with. John McCain has no comment. But privately he has a lot to say on this subject.

  • 4 EYES OF TEXAS // Sep 2, 2008 at 7:15 am

    Lies, lies and more lies. As the Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin has more governmental administrative experience than Obama could ever imagine having. Obama, as a junior Senator, spent all of his 2 years as a Senator, organizing his campaign for President and rarely spent any time in the Senate. Zero experience for the media created fraud, Obama.

  • 5 Hispanic Carol // Sep 4, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    McCain took a stand for us Latinos and it’s in his agenda when he becomes president. Obama on the other hand has said that this issue is not his priority. Face it, we are not a priority for the Dems, we are just a game for them to gain votes. Let’s not be fooled by this “puppet” of the old Democrats that for years have done NOTHING for us.

  • 6 msmarie // Sep 6, 2008 at 12:33 am

    Hey my latino friends. Here is something i want to share with everyone to get educated on MCBUSH. It is sad that he lies and lies and lies. The best part starts at around 3:20 in time.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DshaTkR3ZY4

  • 7 msmarie // Sep 6, 2008 at 12:46 am

    Message to Hispanic Carol. FYI. Politics is politics and we all know that to be true. At the end of the day, no one has the latino interest as a priority both sides are merely trying to get our vote. However, if you educate yourself about the republican party they are not interested in what we do and who we are, instead have an interest in big money and oil and for the ELITE. like he said those people worth $5 million and more. Barack Obama on the other hand has worked as a community organizer. Which to MCAIN is funny. Well let me make it clear that ROSA PARKS, CESAR CHAVEZ, JESUS CHRIST, MARTIN LUTHER KING all were community organizers. Please don’t believe what Mccain says he is using GEORGE BUSH’s campaign people. The very same ones that got BUSH elected are trying to succeed in getting MCCAIN elected. Here is proof in what I’m saying. The good part is around 3:20

  • 8 cindylu // Sep 8, 2008 at 12:00 am

    Thanks for this analysis. I actually wondered if she had any experience, opinions or policy experience on the issues most important to us and our families. I’m not impressed with her or her experience.

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