Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Barack Obama: Taking Hispanics for Granted [Updated]

    One of the stories of the 2012 election was the power of the changing demographics in the United States and how the Obama campaign's understanding and exploitation of those changes helped propel the president into a second term. The growing Hispanic population was said to play a large role in his triumph at the big dance. If that is the case, the Hispanic community might be wondering if the president lost its phone number after the big day in November.

    Despite the continued activity of the BarackObama.com website after the election (home of the Obama for America campaign, now becoming Organizing for Action), the Latinos for Obama page and the Spanish language version of the BarackObama.com website seem frozen in time.  Here is the last blog entry for Latinos for Obama, November 5, 2012:

    The Spanish language version of the website at least kept up the relationship for a couple more days, November 7, 2012:

    Things are a little better over at the Spanish language version of the WhiteHouse.gov website, but not much.  Despite a very active English language blog, the most recent "El Blog" entry is December 21, 2012:

    The White House does provide some press releases and briefing materials in Spanish, but it's just a fraction of the full output of the White House press office.  There were seven English language press documents on January 29th alone, but only two were released in Spanish. Not coincidentally, those two were both related to the president's new immigration initiatives.  Though some of the general interest press releases (taxes, inauguration speech) are available in Spanish, more often translations are related to immigration, Mexico, and Hispanic cabinet members.

    A cynic might suggest the Obama campaign and administration not only engaged in stereotyping Hispanics, but also after being rewarded with 71% of the Hispanic vote in November, dropped them like an old girlfriend. But who knows?  Now that another special occasion has arrived (the immigration debate), the president will be looking for a date, and the Hispanic community's phone just might start ringing again.

UPDATE: There have been no tweets from the Latinos for Obama Twitter account since December 3rd, and only 10 since election day.  Prior to the election, there were dozens of tweets each week.

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