Wooing Latino Voters, Politicians Risk Blunders

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Tamales in corn husks. (Steve Bridger/flickr)

Today’s political candidates are increasingly savvy in their attempts to targeting Spanish-speaking voters. But as attempts to court Latino voters have become increasingly commonplace, so have cultural blunders. A noteworthy example from a past election: When Gerald Ford was running in 1976, he bit into a tamale at a campaign stop without first removing the inedible corn husk. Whoops.

Jude Joffe-Block is senior field correspondent for Fronteras, a multimedia collaboration focusing on the southwestern border between Mexico and the United States, led by KJZZ in Phoenix and KPBS in San Diego. Ruben Navarette is a nationally-syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group.


Jude Joffe-Block and Ruben Navarrette

Produced by:

Mythili Rao

Comments [3]

john from office

Angel, Latino, is a label put on us by academia and the media. I am hispanic, but people dont like it because it is not COOL. Cool is Latino, which should always be accompanied by a Salsa beat in the background, because that is what we are all about. Cha Cha Cha, every body DANCE!

May. 16 2012 09:07 AM
Eugenia Renskoff from Brooklyn, NY

Hi, I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but on the television novelas that I have watched for years on www.univision.com and www.telemundo.com, I don’t see myself. I don’t identify with most of the actors in these shows. They are not me, they are not anyone I have known when I was a child in Buenos Aires or anyone I met when I returned in my 20s and 30s. Most of my neighbors during my childhood in Argentina were Italian and or from Spain, with thick accents. Their kids and grandkids spoke Castilian Spanish, not espanol. To me, I am not a Latina or Hispanic. These are labels to sell people stuff or for a politician to get himself/herself elected. I will not be labeled. I watch the novelas because they are fun, entertaining and because they are Cinderella stories for the most part. Who doesn’t want the poor girl to do well and marry the man of her dreams? They last about 6 months, sometimes more if they are realy successful. Eugenia Renskoff

Apr. 05 2012 04:25 PM

Latinos? How about wooing Hispanics? They vote too.

Apr. 05 2012 09:54 AM

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