Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clinton offends some with 'grandma' pitch to Latinos

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to campaign volunteers Wednesday in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to campaign volunteers Wednesday in Bettendorf, Iowa.

As the world was gripped by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's highly questionable — but, according to the candidate, "not vulgar" — use of the Yiddish-derived word "schlonged," another perfect storm of language and identity politics was brewing. With little fanfare and using the Spanish word for "grandmother," Democrat Hillary Clinton rolled out a page on her campaign website apparently intended to firm up Latino support: "7 things Hillary Clinton has in common with your abuela."

The pitch was not nuanced.

"It's no secret that Hillary is loving her role as grandma," the page said, noting recent news that daughter Chelsea Clinton is expecting another child. "And she was thrilled to learn that next summer, her granddaughter Charlotte will have a sibling to play with. She's always happy to talk about her 'beautiful, perfect' granddaughter, she's an eager volunteer for babysitting duty, and whenever she travels around the country, she makes sure to bring back a gift for Charlotte — sound familiar?"

The page then went on to list seven ways Clinton was like "your abuela." Among them: "She isn't afraid to talk about the importance of el respeto "respect" (especially when it comes to women)"; "She reads to you before bedtime"; and, in a response to her main rival's anti-immigrant rhetoric, "She had one word for Donald Trump … Basta! Enough!"

Anyone still in possession of a dusty Obama 2008 "Si se puede" sign knows that candidates must be ready to reach out to a diverse array of voters — particularly Latinos — when trying to win the White House. But, to some on Twitter, this seemed a bit much. Was Clinton, a white woman educated at Wellesley and Yale, trying to somehow inhabit the character of a wise Latina (to borrow a phrase from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor)? Or worse: Was she trying to compare her struggles to that of Spanish-speaking immigrants, many undocumented and still living in the shadows as GOP candidates mull mass deportation?

On social media, outrage was collected under the hashtag "#NotMyAbuela."

"Let me be clear," one Twitter user wrote. "… You are #NotMyAbuela and you should fire the person who thought up that awful marketing campaign." Another: "Hillary compares herself to my Latina grandma —Please just stop!" Yet another: "My Abuelita never got to meet her U.S. born grandchildren b/c of unjust immigration laws."

Yet, this was far from the first time Clinton has courted Latinos, albeit awkwardly.

"I gotta tell you, I love being 'La Hillary,' " Clinton said at a rally in Texas in October, trying out a nickname that appeared to be a work-in-progress. "I promise I will keep working on my pronunciation — but I'm not just La Hillary. I'm tu Hillary."

Some winced.

"If Clinton has the Latino vote all wrapped up, as the polls seem to indicate, why is she trying so hard to court that community?" Ruben Navarrette wrote in the Dallas Morning News after Clinton's visit. "Because her Latino support is a mile wide and an inch deep." Saying Clinton "ignored due process when she declared that Central American child refugees streaming across the U.S.-Mexico border last summer 'should be sent back,' " Navarrette added: "And that has a lot to do with the fact that Latinos can never be sure which Hillary Clinton is talking to them."

Though Clinton may have fallen victim to a social media dust-up, her support among Latinos is formidable. In July, a Univision poll found 73 percent of Latino voters would vote for Clinton. In an August Gallup poll, her familiarity and favorability ratings led the Democratic field. In September, a Washington Post-ABC poll found she is strongly favored by voters of color.

Meanwhile, a choice between Trump, who compares immigrants to rapists, and Clinton may be an easy one for many Latinos. In September, a MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist poll found Clinton would take 69 percent of the Latino vote while Trump would take 22 percent. And in the 2008 presidential primary in which she was "schlonged," as Trump put it, Clinton still won 2-1 among Latinos.

Carson

campaign

Ben Carson signals a shake-up, then backs off. 7A

Clinton offends some with 'grandma' pitch to Latinos 12/23/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 23, 2015 11:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Erin Andrews, ex-NHL player Jarret Stoll marry in Montana

    Celebrities

    NEW YORK — Sportscaster Erin Andrews and former NHL player Jarret Stoll have tied the knot.

    FILE - In this Oct. 30, 2016 file photo, Fox Sports broadcaster Erin Andrews, left, speaks with Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones after an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Atlanta. Jennifer Allen, a publicist for Andrews, confirms Sunday, June 25, 2017, that the 38-year-old Fox Sports sideline reporter and ???‚??“Dancing with the Stars???‚?? co-host married the 35-year-old Stoll over the weekend.  (AP Photo/David Goldman, File) NYSP103
  2. Amid FBI probe of Tallahassee, Gillum says GOP trying to 'put as much dirt on me as they can'

    Blogs

    Tallahassee mayor and candidate for governor Andrew Gillum might like his supporters to think a federal investigation into development deals in his city is political – but …

    Andrew Gillum
  3. Tampa pedestrian struck, killed near Temple Terrace

    Accidents

    A Tampa woman was killed Saturday night after she was hit by a car while walking near Temple Terrace.

  4. Snell to rejoin rotation Wednesday

    Blogs

     

  5. Illegal sign patrol on a mission to clean up Hillsborough streets

    Human Interest

    BRANDON --Jim Reed, rifling through the back of his Nissan Pathfinder, picks out a sign.

     Citizen volunteers, Reed and Bill Staley take down illegal roadside signs for county code enforcement.  CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times