You don't think the US Latino vote is not important? Conventional political wisdom pretty much has said over and over again that for Mitt Romney to win the presidency in 2012, he has to move the needle on the Latino vote. If he is not around the 35-40% range with US Latino voters, he is not going to win, especially in key battleground states where US Latinos will make a difference. Right now, to put it mildly, President Obama is kicking Romney's culo with US Latino voters, but after some rather embarrassing attempts to reach out to Latino voters, the Romney campaign went all out and invested in a very flashy Spanish language site that launched today.
The highlight of the day is seeing Craig Romney, who can pass for a Mexican pop star, speak Spanish pretty comfortably in the following ad (unlike his dad, who still needs more Rosetta Stone lessons):
For those who just want English to grace the Internet, here is a translation provided by The Daily Caller:
I want to tell you who my father is, Mitt Romney. He is a man of great convictions. He’s been married for over 40 years to my mom. Together they have five sons and 18 grandchildren. He loves our country greatly. What he has achieved has been through hard work — and it is with that same dedication that he will fight to get our country on the right track and create jobs.
In the meantime, it is clear that the Romney campaign FINALLY spent some money on getting a splashier Spanish-language site up and running, and of all the content that is one this page, this image will resonate with some:
Granted, we can nitpick the page's linguistic style and translation (it misses the mark on a few things), but in the end, the page is effective. It will create attention with those US Latino voters who are native Spanish speakers. That is one problem with all this: it would have been cooler to see this Latino page as a bilingual one, but that is just us saying that political campaigns should understand that not every US Latino voter is Spanish-dominant.
And of course, even with all this Spanish blitz, there is still the question of Romney's positions (and yes we are talking Immigration) which he clearly states in Spanish. Now Romney wants to get all moderate in his immigration plan, quite a different leap from when he called the Arizona a "model for the nation" and his stances on immigration were much more extreme. Will the real Mitt Romney please stand up? Or better yet, ¿es posible que el verdadero Mitt Romney empiece a hablar con más claridad sobre sus posiciones?
Will the new Spanish site deflate some of Romney's previous positions? Maybe. Will it be enough to win? Right now, no.
We have been saying all along: Romney lacks the courage to be the leader who tones down the immigration rhetoric from his own base. (A piece by Stephen Nuño just published today explores more of this issue from a "big picture" perspective.) If Romney were more courageous, we actually think he would get closer to the 35%-40% he needs to get to among US Latino voters. You can have all the Spanish ads and websites in the word, Romney's lack of conviction in this arena is a still a deal-breaker for many US Latinos. They WANT to listen to him, but feel that he is just joining the Panderfiesta, the same one Vice President Joe Biden joined yesterday at the annual La Raza conference.