Fifty Shades of . . . Orange??
Mitt Romney’s desperate pursuit of some Latino Magic
Talk about a gang that can’t shoot straight. The latest episode of Mitt Romney’s “week from hell” has just revealed that the conservative candidate’s campaign has a pressing Latino problem.
And I am not talking about the 30-points lead that President Obama has consistently held over Mr. Romney in every poll taken in our community since the beginning of the presidential campaign, that is just a symptom. Mr. Romney’s message, whatever that may be, is simply not coming through. His Latino-phone is broken.
For example, just a few hours after Mitt Romney’s appearance in Univision’s “Meet the Candidates” forum held in Miami, most people weren’t exactly talking about the substance on Mr. Romney’s words or lack thereof. Instead, the great majority of comments in the social media were focused on the weird shade of orange covering his face.
Allow me to join in.
At a first glance it is tempting to think that this sudden change of skin is a clumsy attempt to fit in the Latino community, which up to now has given Mr. Romney the coldest of shoulders, to say the least. After all, as we saw the former governor of Massachusetts in a leaked tape of a fundraiser speech joke about how much better his chances to win the upcoming elections would be if his Mexico born father had been the offspring of Mexicans. Maybe he doesn’t have a future as a stand-up comedian, but Mr. Romney is definitely up to something. He certainly doesn’t need a Latino lineage to win our votes, the President doesn’t have any either and he remains strong and popular within our community. Romney’s problem is a built-in lack of empathy with the common Latino, one that he likely wouldn’t have if he were Latino.
But all this brouhaha about Chief Orange Face is distracting our attention from Romney’s core beliefs regarding our community. This is the candidate who said without a hint of hesitation that he would veto the Dream Act. This is the candidate who believes that Arizona’s immigration law should be the model for the entire nation (he also said the same thing about “Romneycare,” but he has since recanted any praise for his signature achievement while governor of Massachusetts. Most importantly, this is the presidential nominee of a party that is actively involved in an effort to suppress our votes and our voices.
So unless and until Mitt Romney decides to stop being hostile to the plight of the American Latino, I don’t see him gaining much ground within our people even if next time he decides to go for a browner shade foundation.