With the 2008 Presidential campaigning in full swing and record amounts of money being raised and spent to get the word out, Portada takes a look at the frontrunners’ overtures to the nation’s Latinos. Interesting to note is which candidates have elected to include or not to include Spanish-language material on their web sites, as the immigration reform debate rages in the halls of Congress, and in the nation’s border towns.
New York Senator Hillary Clinton recently announced the formation of the National Hispanic Leadership Council (NHLC), a group of over 100 Hispanic government officials and public servants from various corners message is clear: Clinton is going after the Hispanic vote by enlisting Latino leaders into her campaign. It remains to be seen what sort of media outreach Senator Clinton has planned for the Hispanic voter base, and whether this will translate into ad-dollars for Hispanic newspapers and broadcasters. Senator Clinton has, however, launched a page on a bilingual social networking site – mygrito.com. She also includes various materials available in Spanish on her homepage, including her life story and Spanish-language press releases.
Mitt Romney, Massachusetts Governor and deep-pocketed businessman has an En Español link on his homepage which includes a video clip done by his son, Craig Romney, in fluent Spanish, extolling his father’s commitment to family and strong work ethic. Craig Romney also recently did a Spanish-language interview with Univision’s Radio Mambi in Miami. Governor Romney’s campaign also did a Spanish-language radio ad in March that was produced by Alexandria, VA-based National Media. Romney launched his Latin American Policy advisory group in March, and National Hispanic Steering Committee more recently, a group akin to Senator Clinton’s NHLC. Romney is the only Republican candidate to date with a Spanish-language link on his homepage.
According to Alex Burgos, director of specialty media for the Romney campaign, “We haven’t purchased any Spanish language print yet, but given Florida’s early primary and the significant resources we’ve already devoted there, it’s something we would definitely consider.” On July 5th, Governor Romney issued the following statement about Venezuela’s Independence Day: “On the 196th anniversary of Venezuela's independence, we honor the contributions of the thousands of Venezuelan-Americans who have enriched our nation with their talents and energy.” He then went on to criticize Chavez’s government for its recent shut-down of Radio Caracas and for its radical leftist tendencies.
Homepage is where the Heart Is
En Español Link
Advanced Website Features en Español
Hillary Clinton- D
Yes; Life story/press releases
Mitt Romney- R
Yes; Spanish Video done by son
Rudy Giuliani – R
John Edwards- R
Barack Obama- D
Yes; BarackTV en Español video vignettes
Arizona’s John McCain does not feature any Spanish-language content on his homepage. A phone call requesting details about his campaign’s Hispanic outreach was not returned.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani does not have any of his online content available in Spanish. A phone call requesting details about his campaign’s Hispanic outreach was not returned.
John Edwards, whose stump speech often champions the struggle of the working class, does include an Español link on his homepage, although it links only to a short manifesto about getting on with tomorrow’s work today.
Barack Obama’s Hispanic outreach meanwhile has been augmented by the runaway success of AmigosdeObama.com, which Portada first reported in mid-June. The site was started by a supporter who was inspired to get the word out and is replete with ringtones, a reggaeton theme-song, and video clips of Obama addressing everything from immigration reform to family issues.
Obama’s official website also has a rather developed Spanish-language as well with a video section called BarackTV en Español that features translations of appearances by Obama and his wife.