“Every speech should begin with a shot of tequila.” Carly Fiorina
Within the Latino community, politicians on both the right and the left have engaged in mariachi politics. Senator Ted Kennedy used to sing “Jalisco no te rajes”, and California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman launched her Latino coalition with mariachis in the background. Some politicians come across a bit more sincerely when engaging in mariachi or taco politics, and this has to do with how well they know the community and what kind of credibility they have with the gente. Mariachi style politicking doesn’t really appeal to me, and I believe that for people who more closely follow the issues that it doesn’t make a difference either. But it’s a campaign gimmick — and a tired one at that.
But last Friday, California GOP Senate nominee Carly Fiorina took it to a new level downing a shot of tequila before taking the stage and then patronizingly rolling her r’s, and then GOP gubernatorial Meg Whitman followed her on stage and commented that they should do more events like this. This event comes after Meg Whitman has spent the last few weeks dealing with her undocumented housemaid issue, trying to reconcile her employment of the housekeeper with her get tough on the employers of undocumented immigrants stance. Additionally, Carly Fiorina has expressed support for the controversial Arizona immigration law.
The issue of liquor, mariachis and marketing is one that I have explored on the blog, especially when it comes to 5 de Mayo events and the funding of our issue organizations (often underwritten by Anheuser-Busch or even Miller Coors). Does our community’s relative ease in allowing the alcohol and spirits industry into our non-profits and cultural events give politicians like Fiorina and Whitman an opportunity to pander to us this way? Is this the way that Latino politicking in public should be done with a tequila shot in hand and a mariachi band in the background? What do you think?