Break out the margarita mix! It’s Cinco de Mayo! That means candidates from coast to coast will spend the day trying to win the increasingly crucial Hispanic vote (Or Latino as we say here in California).
Even Mike Huckabee is announcing his official bid for presidency today. Pandering, or not, let’s just hope he doesn’t walk out on stage with a sombrero.
Some politicos are genuine… but some just don’t translate. Here are just a few of our favorite ads reaching out to the Latino vote.
1960: Jackie Kennedy’s Spanish Campaign Ad
Okay, if you can call Bill Clinton the first Black President of the United Sates, as so many do, then it’s fair to call Jackie-O the first “Hispanic First Lady” of the United States. It’s hard to forget this classic political ad where Jackie Kennedy spoke fluent Spanish.
John F. Kennedy, while running for President, recognized Latinos as an important voting bloc and decided to target his campaign towards them. Using Jackie’s skills, Kennedy’s campaign was able to target this small, but crucial voting demographic to help him win his victory in 1960.
2012: Mitt Romney in… Brownface?
While this is still just speculation, some criticized Mitt Romney’s appearance in the 2012 presidential election when it looked like he darkened his skin for an appearance on Univision.
After all, a leaked video did quote him saying, “It would be helpful to be Latino” in order to win the election. The best-case scenario: it was a spray-tan gone terribly, terribly wrong.
2014: Tim Donnelly’s Weird Semi-Spanish Campaign Ad
Weird doesn’t even begin to describe this ad… Republican Tim Donnelly raised eyebrows during the 2014 California gubernatorial election in what was apparently an effort to gain likeability points amongst Latino voters.
The video, filmed with actress and singer Maria Conchita, came under fire almost immediately for its allegedly racist undertones. While we won’t say it cost Donnelly the election (it would have been an extremely unlikely win anyway), it certainly didn’t help.
2015: Jeb Bush Declares Himself “Latino”
In this clip, from the recent White House Correspondent’s Dinner, President Obama roasts Jeb Bush for declaring himself “Hispanic” on a voter registration form in 2009. Obama jokingly compares himself to that incident when he “identified as American in 1961.” We’re surprised that didn’t spark another Obama-isn’t-a-citizen debate.
Granted Jeb Bush is married to Mexican-born, Columba Bush, and he speaks fluent Spanish, so we can see how he might get confused on that…
Jeb Bush and his son tweeted about the incident, cooly brushing it off like it was no big deal.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) April 6, 2015
2016: Latinos Running for United States President… But Will They Get the Latino Vote?
As we gear up for the 2016 presidential election, it looks as though this may be the first year that a Latino candidate has a chance at landing on the ticket.
Republican Ted Cruz, the Cuban from Canada, and Tea-Partier Marco Rubio, also Cuban, might seem like they have an advantage in terms of gathering Latino supporters, but it shouldn’t be assumed they’ll automatically get the demographic’s full support.
Are Cruz and Rubio too conservative for Latino voters? Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story. Now back to our margaritas.