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Statements on Hispanic Heritage Month show which candidate is just not that into the Latino community

LatinaLista — Today begins the 40th celebration of Hispanic heritage on a national coordinated scale.
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While Hispanic Heritage Month has always been a celebration of the collective accomplishments of Latinos, it’s also been about looking ahead to where we want to be.
Needless to say, this year’s observance is a little more special than most because it affords the opportunity for both presidential contenders to speak to the Latino community in a personal way during a month dedicated to Latino heritage, contributions and aspirations.
Yet in reviewing the two statements, one can’t dismiss the fact that Obama seizes the opportunity to address Latinos in a meaningful way while McCain misses an opportunity to say anything of substance.
In fact, in an election season, to miss out on the opportunity of capitalizing on a national observance isn’t just odd but truly disappointing because it translates to that community that they’re just not that important to that candidate or his campaign.
Believe it or not, while the McCain campaign may think nobody notices what is said or not said in their press release regarding Hispanic Heritage Month, McCain’s statement was noted, in of all places, a blog on the United Kingdom’s Guardian newspaper’s web site for what it didn’t say.
No matter how you look at it, it’s hard not to walk away from reading it and think only one thing, courtesy of a book title paraphrase: “He’s just not that into the Latino community.”
Too harsh? Well, as Levar Burton always said on Reading Rainbow, “You don’t have to take my word for it” You can read it for yourself:

Statement By John McCain On Hispanic Heritage Month

ARLINGTON, VA — Today, U.S. Senator John McCain issued the following statement on Hispanic Heritage Month:
“This month, we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring the many contributions that Hispanic Americans make each and every day to the United States.

Our country would be poorer were we deprived of the patriotism, industry and decency of Hispanic Americans who have made this country better and stronger. We honor those who have come here to live the American dream, we recognize those who have been here for generations, and we thank those who are serving our nation in uniform here and overseas.”

Obama Statement on Hispanic Heritage Month

Chicago, IL – Senator Barack Obama joined millions of Americans today in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated from September 15 through October 15, and issued the following statement:
“This month, I join all Americans in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s a time to honor the achievements and sacrifices of Hispanic Americans, from their long and proud tradition of military service to the visionary leadership of César Chavez to today’s ongoing struggles for opportunity and prosperity. It’s a time to recognize all Hispanic Americans who have helped write the social, economic, and cultural story of America.
“And after all the progress we have made together, we cannot turn back. We must march ahead. I’ve walked alongside the Hispanic community in Chicago, I’ve stood with you at immigration rallies, and I will fight for you in the White House. And now is the time for us to create good-paying jobs, reduce the student dropout rate, and finally enact the DREAM Act. It’s time to finally pass comprehensive immigration reform, provide 15 million uninsured Latinos with affordable, high-quality health care, and end the war in Iraq. It’s time to make sure the next four years don’t look just like the last eight.
“At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to always march ahead. What has always distinguished the Hispanic community – and what distinguishes us as Americans – is our belief that in America, you can make it if you try. This month, and every month, we keep that promise. This November, we must renew it.”

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Comment(20)

  • Avatar
    Irma
    September 16, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Whether or not a candidate expresses suppport for Hispanic Heritage month is irrelevant to this Hispanic. I didnt grow up with Hispanic Heritage month, I was aware of my my heritage EVERY day. The food I ate a home was different from my classmates at school, so was the lunch I brought from home – egg and potato tacos.
    When will Americans of all cultures realize that nationally sponsored cultural heritage
    months are just photo-ops for politicians.
    Voters need to closely examine what
    politicians have done for them and their community. Have either Barak Obama or John McCain really reached out to the
    Hispanic community ? I think the answer is NO.

  • Avatar
    laura
    September 17, 2008 at 1:33 am

    Irma, if John McCain were a stalwart ally of homeowners losing their house in foreclosure, of workers struggling to pay their bills, of people fighting for payment for their medical expenditures, of students aspiring to an education, and of Latina/os supporting their families through work without a visa here in the US – if he were fighting for Latina/os, but didn’t care about Hispanic Heritage month, I would completely agree with you.
    The problem is, McCain not only cares nothing about Latina/os, he also cares nothing about Americans – unless they belong to his $5 million and above buddies’ circle.
    As it is, McCain’s health care proposal alone is such an unbelievable attack on those Americans who still get health insurance from their employers that this alone is a reason for Latina/os to vote against him. He says he will make employees pay taxes on the contributions of employers to health insurance, with the goal of getting everyone out of group insurance and into individual insurance.
    Read the piece by Bob Herbert in the New York Times here:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/16/opinion/16herbert.html?em
    Of course he also thinks our economy is strong – which it is for people at his income level and above.
    So Hispanic or American heritage – our children may have no heritage at all if McCain gets in.

  • Avatar
    Dee
    September 17, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    McCains statement is so typical. His strategy is “CHANGE THE SUBJECT” and NOT “Change.”
    It is mind boggling how deceptive the McCain campaign is. One of the best examples of his hypocrisy was during the Repub Convention when McCains security asked the Young Republicans to put down their “Build the Fence” signs. His message, “I am on your side but let me win this election before we talk about Immigration again.” McCain is despicable!!

  • Avatar
    Martin Gallegos
    September 17, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    I was agreeing with Irma, especially with tacos de papas y huevos, jajaja.
    I am a 20 year old hispnaic male, on my third year in college. I unlike many of my peers, don’t like the thoughts of Obama being President.
    McCain is a BORDER STATE senator, who in fact tried working on reformation, when it came into such a roaring debate, in recent memory.
    This is when he crossed “party lines” and worked with TED KENNEDY.
    I know McCain has hispanics interests in mind, and that more than solidifies my vote for him.
    Yo so unido con John McCain.

  • Avatar
    crystal
    September 18, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Just because he’s a border state senator doesn’t mean he knows Latinos… he actually has a poor voting record or doesn’t take a stand on immigration issues and even skipped voting on the DREAM Act. More importantly how is he on education, labor, social issues, health care, and Vet’s issues?? Let’s not forget his votes might keep you from using jaja, too.

  • Avatar
    Irma
    September 18, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Has anyone seen the two ads in Spanish one from the
    McCain and one from the Obama campaign? They are both rather offensive in my view since it is apparent that both campaigns apparently thinks Hispanics
    are stupid enough to believe that garbage.
    The Obama campaign is particularly offensive since it specifically targets
    Mexicans and is a disgusting example of race baiting. I had heard that Obamites often refer to Mexicans as “taco eaters”- I wonder now what else they say about us behind closed doors.
    The presidential campaign on both sides is rapidly becoming nauseating,
    I never thought that the Democrats would use racism to get the Mexican
    American vote. Wow,, I guess that
    they think all they have to do is tell us that the other side called us ” mexicanos estupidos” and we wlll vote
    for Obama! This site isnt called Latina
    Lista for nothing.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    September 19, 2008 at 1:00 am

    McShame lies again, why am I not surprised? It seems that is all he has been doing lately. To think I respected the man once nauseates me!
    ugh
    Lies, Half-Truths and Contradictions: McCain Ad “Misrepresents History” of Immigration Battle
    Not content to pack the LHC barn in English only, the McCain dropped a Spanish-language ad Friday that accused Obama and the Dems of killing comprehensive immigration reform. One pro-immigrant comprehensive immigration reform advocate said Johnny Mac’s ad “misrepresents history.”
    The 30-second spot states that “Obama and his Congressional allies say they are on the side of immigrants. But are they? The press reports that their efforts were ‘poison pills’ that made immigration reform fail.”
    Not exactly. It was the lack of Republican support that killed immigration reform last time around.
    Comrade Tyche Hendricks, who has written extensively on the U.S.-Mexico border for The Chronicle and (for an upcoming book), contacted Doris Meissner, who is a senior fellow at the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.
    “I don’t know that you can say ‘poison pill’ because things hadn’t gotten far enough so that anything would actually rise to that level (of poisoning the bill’s chances),” Meissner said.
    “I know there were people who were disappointed by the amendment that Obama put in,” Meissner said. “But it’s disengenuous because at that point McCain had backed away from the bill, which he had sponsored the year before, and he was not to be found in the debate because it was dividing the Republican party in the Senate. It was the lack of Republican votes that sank the bill.”
    read more
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=14&entry_id=30233

  • Avatar
    IRMA
    September 19, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Evelyn ,
    Be objective. Both McCain and the Obama ads in Spanish are objectionable. The McCain ad is typical political stretching of the truth – The Obama ad is an OUTRIGHT
    lie. In addition, the Obama ad is race baiting at its worst. Basically, it taunts Mexican Americans with the idea that
    the Republicans think Mexicans are stupid.
    This ad is blatantly racist and disgusting.
    It is clear NEITHER side respects Latin people at all. They think we are stupid.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    September 20, 2008 at 2:12 am

    I watched the proceedings on the senate floor when the issue of comprehensive immigration reform was being debated from beginning to end.
    The author of the article I presented above didnt lie, he told the truth. Neither did Doris Meissner. You can check for yourself and see how many Republican Senators voted for the bill. It was only twelve.
    Most of the Republicans that said they supported the bill, lied, and didnt vote for it. That is why the bill died. It had nothing to do with Obama like McShame states in his spanish ad.
    The following is a translation of the Obama spanish ad.
    Ad highlights:
    “They want us to forget the insults we’ve put up with, the intolerance,” the television ad’s announcer says in Spanish as a picture of Rush Limbaugh appears onscreen with quotes of him saying, “Mexicans are stupid and unqualified” and “Shut your mouth or get out.”
    “They made us feel marginalized in a country we love so much,” the ad continues. “John McCain and his Republican friends have two faces. One that says lies just to get our vote and another, even worse, that continues the failed policies of George Bush that put special interests ahead of working families.”
    “Don’t forget that John McCain abandoned us rather than confront the leaders of the Republican Party. Many of us were born here, and others came to work and achieve a better life for their families — not to commit crimes or drain the system like many of John McCain’s friends claim. Let’s not be fooled by political tricks from John McCain and the Republicans. Vote so they respect us. Vote for a change.”
    Watch it here
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry9LnAazwMg
    ~~~~~~~
    Irma
    Please tell me in what way “The Obama ad is an OUTRIGHT
    lie?”
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    This is how one frustrated Republican, who cant tell where McShame stands on immigration sums it up.
    McCain said this over and over and over and over again. For example, here’s John McCain in November of 2007,
    John McCain spent months earlier this year arguing that the United States must combine border security efforts with a temporary worker program and an eventual path to citizenship for many illegal immigrants.
    Now, the Republican presidential candidate emphasizes securing the borders first. The rest, he says, is still needed but will have to come later.
    “I understand why you would call it a, quote, shift,” McCain told reporters Saturday after voters questioned him on his position during back-to-back appearances in this early voting state. “I say it is a lesson learned about what the American people’s priorities are. And their priority is to secure the borders.”
    Here’s John McCain in February of 2008,
    On the issue of illegal immigration, a position which provoked the outspoken opposition of many conservatives, I stood my ground aware that my position would imperil my campaign. I respect your opposition for I know that the vast majority of critics to the bill based their opposition in a principled defense of the rule of law. And while I and other Republican supporters of the bill were genuine in our intention to restore control of our borders, we failed, for various and understandable reasons, to convince Americans that we were. I accept that, and have pledged that it would be among my highest priorities to secure our borders first, and only after we achieved widespread consensus that our borders are secure, would we address other aspects of the problem in a way that defends the rule of law and does not encourage another wave of illegal immigration.
    Here’s John McCain, answering a question that I posed to him about illegal immigration on April 28, 2008:
    As the recent immigration debate demonstrated, Americans have little trust that their government will honor a pledge to do the things necessary to make our border secure. As president, I will honor that pledge by securing the border, thus strengthening our national security. I will also require that, among other things, border-state governors certify that the border is secure before proceeding to other reform measures. However, I also believe that our immigration system must recognize that America will always be that “shining city upon a hill,” a beacon of hope and opportunity for those seeking a better life built on hard work and optimism. Once we achieve border security, we must ensure that we approach our remaining immigration challenges with constructive dialogue and solutions that reflect a compassionate approach and the needs of our economy.
    So, what you see here is that McCain has said, again and again, that he no longer supports comprehensive immigration reform. To the contrary, he has been saying that we need security first and then — and only then — could we consider moving forward with an amnesty.
    Granted, I didn’t trust McCain on this issue and I’d prefer never to have an amnesty, but still, a security first position beats comprehensive immigration reform.
    On the other hand, after spending more than 6 months touting a security first position, winning the nomination only because he abandoned his pro-comprehensive immigration position, and running as “Mr. Straight Talk,” I thought McCain would be reluctant to break his security first pledge once he got into office.
    That’s why I was more than a little bit disturbed when John McCain said the following last week,
    “We get in this kind of a circular firing squad on immigration reform in the Congress of the United States and the lesson I learned from it is we’ve got to have comprehensive immigration reform.”
    Although the campaign didn’t follow that up with any releases saying that McCain slipped up, I noticed that McCain seemed to be going back to his security first position when he was asked about immigration. So, I decided to ask the campaign about it and yesterday, I posted on the issue.
    Here was my conclusion,
    “What that leads me to believe is that McCain just screwed up, slipped into his old comprehensive illegal immigration rhetoric, and then, because the issue is so radioactive for him, decided he would be better off just leaving it alone rather than trying to explain it.”
    Incidentally, that conclusion? It wasn’t just a guess. It was backed up by off-the-record comments that I’m not going to discuss in detail right now.
    So, with that in mind, imagine my chagrin when I saw these comments in the New York Times last night (emphasis mine).
    After several of the business leaders complained about the difficulty in obtaining temporary H1B visas for scientists and engineers, something the Senate immigration bill was supposed to address, Mr. McCain expressed regret the measure did not pass, calling it a personal “failure,” as well as one by the federal government.
    “Senator Kennedy and I tried very hard to get immigration reform, a comprehensive plan, through the Congress of the United States,” he said. “It is a federal responsibility and because of our failure as a federal obligation, we’re seeing all these various conflicts and problems throughout our nation as different towns, cities, counties, whatever they are, implement different policies and different programs which makes things even worse and even more confusing.”
    He added: “I believe we have to secure our borders, and I think most Americans agree with that, because it’s a matter of national security. But we must enact comprehensive immigration reform. We must make it a top agenda item if we don’t do it before, and we probably won’t, a little straight talk, as of January 2009.”
    Mr. McCain asked others on the panels for suggestions about how to “better mobilize American public opinion” behind the notion of comprehensive immigration reform.
    Put very simply: John McCain is a liar. He’s a man without honor, without integrity, who could not have captured the Republican nomination had he run on making comprehensive immigration a top priority of his administration. Quite frankly, this is little different from George Bush, Sr. breaking his “Read my lips, no new taxes pledge,” except that Bush’s father was at least smart enough to wait until he got elected before letting all of his supporters know that he was lying to them.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    September 20, 2008 at 2:28 am

    BTW Irma wake up, the majority Republicans DO think anyone other then white Christians are stupid.

  • Avatar
    Irma
    September 21, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    John McCain has NEVER been one of Rush Limbaugh’s heroes, to link them that way in the ad is a LIE. Indeed, while John McCain has vastly modified his position on immigration, it was he and others like Ted Kennedy who tried to pass comprehensive immigration.
    The Obama campaign’s portrayal of the McCain record on immigration is a LIE.
    By the way, white people in general think Hispanics are stupid. I have seen this time and time again among all kinds of people doctors, lawyers, scientists,writers, stockbrokers etc. These are my peers -99% of them are
    Democrat, and oh yes, I of course at the EXCEPTION or so they say.
    Obama by the way has a history of walking in 5 minutes before key legislation is being polished and congratulating everyone for “helping”
    HIM on putting it all together.
    I am surprised the guy hasnt taken credit for the 1965 civil rights act.

  • Avatar
    Alex
    September 21, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    McBush plan, I think, is to keep his racist Republiklan base happy telling them that he will secure the borders first, while giving some hope, to the latino community, that after that, a possible path to legalization may be possible. How long, according to McBush, will take to accomplish secure borders? His whole first term, if he is elected. God forbid. If so, by the end of his first term, and to gain the latino vote for his seconf term, he will tell the latinos that securing borders is almost accomplished and a path towards legalization for the millions that would still be here, is at hand. McBuish is just fooling the Hispanics into voting for him. He is a hypocrite and a coward. I was really considering voting for him, before the debates started because he was standing for what is right but, after he succumbed to the Republiklan base, he showed us to be a man with no honor.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    September 22, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Irma said
    John McCain has NEVER been one of Rush Limbaugh’s heroes, to link them that way in the ad is a LIE.
    E
    Yes I noticed how the McShame camp has counted on the fact that most of the media are not fluent in Spanish and lied by stating, the ad links Rush (i hate Hispanics the scum of the earth) Limbaugh, to McShame.
    Irma, I dont believe you took the time to view the ad. I watched it many many times trying to figure out HOW they think the ad links McShame to Limbaugh and for the life of me I couldn’t! Not even giving them the benefit of doubt could I come up with that analogy.
    I believe the McShame camp relied on the fact most Americans are not Spanish speakers, so they lied and stated McShame was being compared to Limbaugh to refocus the issue cause they dont have an answer to what the ad says.
    The add starts with a picture of a thoughtful Barack Obama saying “I am Barack Obama and I approve this message.
    A picture of Rush Limbaugh appears along with a written quote beside it stating “Mexicans, stupid and unqualified” Rush Limbaugh, while the ad’s announcer Say’s, “they want us to forget the insults we’ve put up with.”
    Another picture of Rush Limbaugh appears with another quote by Limbaugh beside it saying, “shut your mouth or get out” Rush Limbaugh, while the ad announcer Say’s “the intolerance makes us feel marginalized in this country we love so much.”
    Picture of John Mc Cain and President Bush comes up with a gasoline meter whose prices are going up, as the ad announcer Say’s “John McCain and his friends have two faces, News paper appears with words “‘they,’ made immigration reform fail,” under newspaper are words, “announcement by McCain campaign.”
    The ad announcer continues talking, as a picture of McCain and Bush appears with oil wells in the background saying,”and the other, even worse, continues the same failed policies of George Bush that put special interests ahead of working families.”
    A picture of McCain and Bush appears along with words to their left stating “John McCain, more of the same Republican political tricks,” as the ad announcer states the same words.
    If anything the ad links McCain to Bush, which is truthful as McCain has voted 90% of the time with Bush and his Republicans.
    It in no way links McCane to Linbaugh. It links Limbaugh to all the demonizing of Hispanics and immigrants as example! Anyone who speaks Spanish can see that.
    Too bad the media drank the kool aid before scrutinizing the ad thoroughly with Spanish translators to help them. No, they went ahead and believed the McCain campaign.
    Here is the link to the ad so you can see for yourself.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry9LnAazwMg
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Obama by the way has a history of walking in 5 minutes before key legislation is being polished and congratulating everyone for “helping”
    HIM on putting it all together.
    E
    I looked for a link to prove this was true and couldn’t find anything on the matter. If you have one I would like to see it.
    Thank’s for the link in advance.
    Evelyn

  • Avatar
    Irma
    September 23, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Evelyne,
    Marisa may not post the entire Washington post article.
    Both Obama And Clinton Embellish Their Roles
    By Shailagh Murray and Jonathan Weisman
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Monday, March 24, 2008; A01
    After weeks of arduous negotiations, on April 6, 2006, a bipartisan group of senators burst out of the “President’s Room,” just off the Senate chamber, with a deal on new immigration policy.
    As the half-dozen senators — including John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) — headed to announce their plan, they met Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who made a request common when Capitol Hill news conferences are in the offing: “Hey, guys, can I come along?” And when Obama went before the microphones, he was generous with his list of senators to congratulate — a list that included himself.
    “I want to cite Lindsey Graham, Sam Brownback, Mel Martinez, Ken Salazar, myself, Dick Durbin, Joe Lieberman . . . who’ve actually had to wake up early to try to hammer this stuff out,” he said.
    To Senate staff members, who had been arriving for 7 a.m. negotiating sessions for weeks, it was a galling moment. Those morning sessions had attracted just three to four senators a side, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) recalled, each deeply involved in the issue. Obama was not one of them. But in a presidential contest involving three sitting senators, embellishment of legislative records may be an inevitability, Specter said with a shrug.
    Unlike governors, business leaders or vice presidents, senators — the last to win the presidency was John F. Kennedy in 1960 — are not executives. They cannot be held to account for the state of their states, their companies or their administrations. What they do have is the mark they leave on the nation’s laws — and in Obama’s brief three-year tenure, as well as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s seven-year hitch, those marks are far from indelible.
    “It’s not an unusual matter for senators to take a little extra credit,” Specter said.
    Both Obama and Clinton have tried to make the most of it, and Clinton has attempted to bolster her Senate r¿sum¿ with her less-than-transparent track record as first lady. The release Wednesday of more than 11,000 pages of documents from Clinton’s years in the White House sent reporters and political opponents scrambling for evidence that might contradict her lofty assessment of her performance in those years.
    The Obama campaign pounced on the documents, using them to argue that the senator from New York had understated her role in securing the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement and overstated her roles in foreign policy decisions and passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act early in her husband’s administration.
    With colleagues in Congress quick to claim credit where it is due, word moves quickly when undue credit is claimed.
    “If it happens once or twice, you let it go,” said Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), an Obama supporter. “If it becomes the mantra, then you go, ‘Wait a minute.’ ”
    Immigration is a case in point for Obama, but not the only one. In 2007, after the first comprehensive immigration bill had died, the senators were back at it, and again, Obama was notably absent, staffers and senators said. At one meeting, three key negotiators recalled, he entered late and raised a number of questions about the bill’s employment verification system. Kennedy and Specter both rebuked him, saying that the issue had already been resolved and that he was coming late to the discussion. Kennedy dressed him down, according to witnesses, and Obama left shortly thereafter.
    “Senator Obama came in late, brought up issues that had been hashed and rehashed,” Specter recalled. “He didn’t stay long.”
    Just this week, as the financial markets were roiling in the wake of the Bear Stearns collapse, Obama made another claim that was greeted with disbelief in some corners of Capitol Hill. On March 13, Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, unveiled legislative proposals to allow the Federal Housing Administration to guarantee new loans from banks willing to help homeowners in or approaching foreclosure. Obama and Clinton were in Washington for a day-long round of budget voting, but neither appeared at the housing news conference.
    Yet Obama on Monday appeared to seek top billing on Dodd’s proposal.
    “At this moment, we must come together and act to address the housing crisis that set this downturn in motion and continues to eat away at the public’s confidence in the market,” Obama said. “We should pass the legislation I put forward with my colleague Chris Dodd to create meaningful incentives for lenders to buy or refinance existing mortgages so that Americans facing foreclosure can keep their homes.”
    Dodd did say that Obama supported the bill, as does Clinton. But he could not offer pride of authorship to the candidate he wants to see in the White House next year.
    “I’ve talked to him about it at some length,” Dodd said. “When Senator Obama was there for that full day of voting, we had long conversations about it. He had excellent questions and decided to support it.”
    Clinton also has her share of colleagues only too willing scrutinize her claims. Her campaign Web site describes Clinton’s “successful effort to create” the popular State Children’s Health Insurance Program during her husband’s tenure in the White House, and she has placed herself in the middle of major international events, including the Northern Ireland peace process and the Balkan conflict.
    But prominent Democratic senators, Irish historians and even Sinbad the comedian, who accompanied Clinton to Kosovo, are challenging some of her assertions.
    During months of SCHIP negotiations in 1997, her name rarely surfaced in news accounts. Clinton never testified before Congress or held a news conference on the bill. When Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (Utah), the lead GOP negotiator of the children’s health bill, heard reports that Clinton was depicting herself as SCHIP’s main advocate, “I had to blink a few times,” he said. Hatch said he doesn’t recall a single conversation with Clinton about SCHIP, even a mention of her name. “If she was involved, I didn’t know about it,” he said.
    “You know how she says, ‘I started SCHIP’? Well, so did I,” joked Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), one of the Democrats who pushed the bill across the finish line along with Kennedy. Both have endorsed Obama.
    Some Clinton insiders also are uncomfortable with some of her assertions. “I don’t really like the way she talks about her role in SCHIP,” conceded one former Clinton administration official, who supports the first lady’s candidacy, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to express his views candidly. “She doesn’t say it right. What she should say is ‘I was the driving force in the administration.’ That’s pretty big, and it’s all true.”
    Obama has left discussion of SCHIP authorship to his allies. But his campaign has launched a broad challenge to Clinton’s international bona fides.
    In a memo last week, senior Obama adviser Gregory B. Craig, President Bill Clinton’s lawyer during his impeachment proceedings, disputed a series of Clinton foreign policy claims. “When your entire campaign is based upon a claim of experience, it is important that you have experience to support that claim,” Craig wrote.
    But it may be SCHIP that presents the biggest question marks for her. The issue combines Clinton’s twin passions for health care and children’s causes, and Clinton talks of it like a proud parent. Speaking to General Motors workers last month, Clinton said: “If you want universal health care, you have to take on the insurance companies — that’s exactly what I did as first lady. And when we weren’t successful, I kept on fighting until we got health care for 6 million children.”
    Last fall, Kennedy said SCHIP “wouldn’t be in existence” without Clinton’s support inside the White House. But when her rhetoric on the campaign trail started to filter back to the Capitol, the veteran legislator became stingier with his praise.
    “At the last hour, the administration supported it, and she was part of the administration, so I suppose she could say she supported it at the time,” Kennedy said.
    Chris Jennings, health policy coordinator in the Clinton White House, offers a different account. He recalled discussing an SCHIP-like program with the first lady even as her universal plan was unraveling. Jennings said Clinton pressed her husband to include children’s health coverage in the 1997 State of the Union address and fiscal 1998 budget request.
    But context is key, Jennings added. Barely two years had passed since the collapse of the universal health-care idea, and Clinton was still nursing deep political wounds. “She low-keyed her exposure, but that was on purpose,” Jennings said. “Her feeling was ‘I know my role, I’m going to be quiet, but I’m not going to go away.’ “

  • Avatar
    Irma
    September 23, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    E,
    My take on the Dos Caras was different from yours.
    I am Mexican – that ad was offensive.
    All the Mexicans I know- thought so too.
    And please why is it okay for Obama to vote 95% with his party and WRONG For
    Mcain to vote 90% with his party?
    That is party loyalty isnt it? All Obamites do these is DEMAND party loyalty from
    Democrats. Hypocritical dont you think?

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    September 23, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    And please why is it okay for Obama to vote 95% with his party and WRONG For
    Mcain to vote 90% with his party?
    E
    Because he has good judgement. When the democrats were in White House we (the American people) were in much better shape.
    Now that the Repuks are in power they have proved to be a disaster!
    The democrats have had to go in and clean up the mess the Repuks make many times.
    I asked a linguist who is a family member to look at the video and give me her openion on whether Limbaugh was linked to McCain in the video. She said no.
    McCain was linked to Bush. Limbaugh was linked to the rhetoric surrounding Latino immigrants.

  • Avatar
    Irma
    September 24, 2008 at 10:31 am

    E,
    I can see that now you are resorting to insulting Mexicans since linguists understand Spanish better than they do.
    The point is that politicians should care about how their ads are PERCEIVED.
    Perception is everything – it has a powerful impact on a voter decision. I can tell
    that many Hispanics and Mexicans in partticular viewed that ad as race baiting and insulted others.
    These people are not linguists, but they are voters.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    September 25, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Irma :
    E,
    I can see that now you are resorting to insulting Mexicans since linguists understand Spanish better than they do.
    E
    I am truly sorry you feel that way. I would never insult anyone of any ethnicity or race.
    Maybe I should have explained.
    This linguist happens to be my mother who is Native American and speaks 5 languages fluently including Spanish and many indigenous dialects. She spent the better part of 30 yrs living in South America studying many Native American dialects and helping my father piece togather the lives of ancient peoples.
    My father was an anthropologist.
    I am not Hispanic but I also speak Spanish fluently. I spent many summers with my parents and had an opportunity to learn.

  • Avatar
    Irma
    September 26, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Evelyn,
    Thanks for the explanation about your heritage. It does help me understand better your views. Native Americans are not HIspanic. They dont share our culture and therefore it is understandable that somethin that might offend a Mexican
    in Spanish, might not have the same connotation for other Spanish speakers.
    I speak 3 languages myself (English, Spanish, French) and read a fourth (Hebrew)., Although, I can read newspapers in all 3 languages, I often fail to understand jokes or insults. Part of language is indeed cultural.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    September 27, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Part of language is indeed cultural.
    You are so right about that. That is why I turned to My Mother, she spent the better part of 15 yrs living in Mexico among Mexicans. The other 15 were spent in South America.
    I still own a home in Gto. Mexico where I lived with my husband for 8 yrs until he passed 4 years ago.

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