Palin appeals to Latinas?

September 13th, 2008 · 4 Comments

A few days ago, I read Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez’s blog, where she addressed the very real possibility that the addition of Governor Sarah Palin to the McCain ticket may attract Latinas who were Hillary supporters and reluctantly became Obama supporters. Then yesterday, I read Ruben Navarrette’s column suggesting that because of Palin, McCain may have a shot at earning more of the Latina vote.

I think that if the superficial appeals to you, then I can definitely see why Sarah Palin would attract Latinas and Latinos who might be sold on just the outward appearance. Governor Palin has straight teeth, an athletic build, dark albeit overly coiffed hair, and big expressive eyes. And then if you feel that her having five kids makes her more family oriented, I can understand why some Latinas feel that Palin’s life is more like theirs. Without analyzing the situation too closely, it seems that Palin would likely appeal to the same people in our communities who invest in custom wheels for an economy car like a Focus or Corolla, instead of throwing the extra money into their 401Ks or children’s college funds.

Appearances matter in our community, as they do in all others, but dare I say that appearances matter more in communities where there aren’t many assets to begin with. If you drive through the barrio, you will likely notice many beauty shops, barber shops, wheels and rim stores, and custom audio shops– all services and items that are not really necessary.

I can see the validity in worrying that the outward appearance of Sarah Palin can be an asset for the McCain ticket. However, I’m hopeful that more Latinos will educate themselves about the issues instead of focusing on superficial beauty. Sarah Palin’s former beauty queen looks or five children should not matter to those who are struggling to keep a roof of their heads or trying to educate their own kids.

Note: Navarrette points out in the linked article that the poll numbers released last week were taken prior to the announcement that Palin would be McCain’s running mate. It would be interesting to see where the Latino electorate is leaning at this juncture, especially after Palin’s first televised interview.

Tags: John McCain · Presidential Elections · Ruben Navarrette · Sarah Palin

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 xxxicana // Sep 14, 2008 at 7:43 am

    I’m glad that progressive Latinas are addressing the issue of why some Latin@s are drawn to the RNC. There are several reasons why Latin@s might be on the fence: unchecked prejudice against blacks; cultural conservatism; lack of attention by either party to understand the differences within/between Latino communities.

    I checked out Valdes-Rodriguez’s blog — thanks for the link. Clearly those of us that want progressive change must work doubly hard to point out the reasons why voting Republican is not in the best interest of low income, politically marginalized, and historically discriminated against peoples.

    I feel that many Latin@s try to advance themselves through the process of “blanquiemiento” (whitening up) — but just cuz someone wants to be white doesn’t mean that society will see us as white.

  • 2 Michaelr // Sep 15, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    They think this goes for the guys too…all those Latinos who cling to Ronald Reagan and John Wayne as role models.

  • 3 Looks like Sarah Palin wants what many of us already have — Brown Skin // Sep 16, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    […] but it just illustrates the level of vanity and superficiality, which I recently addressed here with this woman. All of this is made more ironic when you consider that Senator McCain has been […]

  • 4 DexterManley // Sep 23, 2008 at 7:40 am

    Michaelr: I live in Panama. Whole different mentality. Se habla de la “pesadilla Americana!”

    I went to college and grad school in the states but nothing in the world could make me live there again. Very few South Americans now would even consider it. The anti-Latino bias is just too weird. And there are more opportunities here. This whole “immigration problem” framing is offensive beyond imagination. No matter who’s elected president they’re putting up that ridiculous wall and some very punitive laws are going into effect as well.

    It’s crazy. Because of the strength of the Mexican Peso versus the dollar it’s getting to the point that no Mexican would have any reason to come to the states. Forget South Americans. We’re like Europe now with Mercosur and the private banking laws and for the most part neutrality on the USA and the “war on terror.”

    So, you’ll see the US Army probably going into Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and certainly Costa Rica and bringing back slaves or something like that.

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