Thursday, January 31, 2008

Please don't sing to us in Spanish

This presidential campaign is reminding me of the girl all the boys want to date but no one wants to marry. As I check the sitemeter on this blog I see that numerous searches are about the Latino vote. Now people are interested. The Wall Street Journal even published an article that details commentaries by Latino blogs. Just curious, how much interest would there be in a non-election year?

All the politicking and ads in Spanish don't mean anything unless the candidates follow through with what they are promising. Remember, this is not always possible... as many have noted, the position of U.S. president is fairly weak (that is unless you have a Darth Vader-like VP like Cheney). Since we have no way of predicting the future, our vote is a gamble.

On the other hand, isn't it wonderful to have someone court you (even if you know it's a ploy). I always dreamed of a time where I would be standing at my balcony after dark while a handsome young man with his mariachis sings a love song to me. That is kind of what is happening with Obama. He is singing to us, but the real question is does he want to make a commitment? He says he does, but we won't know for sure until it's too late and we've punched the numbers on those scary Diebold machines.

Obama reminds me of what my mother would tell me about choosing a husband. It's not that guy who sings to me, it's the guy who is most practical - of course I have to like him- but as my grandmother would say (she married a musician), be careful not to be swept off your feet by someone that sings a good song.


As Obama Plans 24-State Blitz, GOP Hopefuls Rein In Spending

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 1, 2008; A08

Sen. Barack Obama has launched a eight-figure, 24-state barrage of television advertising, heading into the Super Tuesday contests and beyond, that will carry his message to twice as many states as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's ads will reach with her current ad buy.

While Obama (Ill.) plans to spend more than $10 million on a blitz that will run through Tuesday, the two leading Republican presidential candidates are spending far less on the air wars. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who delayed airing any Super Tuesday commercials, plans to spend $2 million to $3 million in the remaining five days and has released only one ad in California. His chief rival, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), plans a modest buy on national cable networks.

Obama is on the air in all but three of the Feb. 5 states -- he is bypassing his home state of Illinois -- and is to begin advertising today in Maryland, Virginia and the District, which vote Feb. 12. His latest ad begins with black-and-white images of John F. Kennedy and features the endorsement of the late president's daughter, Caroline Kennedy.

Clinton (N.Y.) countered with new commercials yesterday, one playing on anxiety about the economy -- symbolized by a plunging skydiver -- and the other, set to patriotic music, carrying an uplifting appeal of the type usually associated with Obama.

Clinton plans to advertise in a dozen of the 22 states that will hold Democratic primaries and caucuses Tuesday, including New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Missouri, Tennessee, Arizona and California. Clinton, whose aides believe she does not have to prove her readiness for the Oval Office, has yet to make any commitments in subsequent states.

But Clinton is also using some unconventional tactics. Her campaign bought an hour block on the Hallmark Channel to air a portion of the national town hall forum her campaign is mounting, on the eve of the Feb. 5 primaries. Clinton, former president Bill Clinton and their daughter, Chelsea, are set to appear.

"We come in at a massive disadvantage for name ID," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said yesterday. "The more people get to know Obama, the better we do. Our supporters want us to be as aggressive as we can in as many places as we can."

Clinton spokesman Phil Singer brushed off the disparity, noting that Obama is running state-specific testimonials from such politicians as Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.). "The campaigns are at different stages. . . . While Senator Clinton is highlighting the solutions for the economy she'll deliver as president, Senator Obama is using third-party validators like Governor Napolitano to assuage voter concerns about his readiness to lead," Singer said.

Ken Goldstein, a University of Wisconsin professor who studies political advertising, said Obama faces the greater challenge. "People know Hillary," he said. "You either like her or don't like her; maybe advertising helps at the margins. Obama really needs to introduce himself."

Romney's California ad, which previously aired elsewhere, stresses his business experience while saying that McCain has never run anything. The Associated Press reported that Romney plans to air ads in other unspecified states but that no decision has been made.

McCain's aides had been preparing for a heavier assault. They note that their candidate won Tuesday's Florida primary after Romney had spent $5 million on television ads there and McCain less than $2 million.

"We've proven we can win races with limited resources," said Jill Hazelbaker, McCain's communications director. "We will be visible, regardless of whether we're on television."

With McCain making only a token television buy, said Evan Tracey of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, Romney may be reluctant to risk more of his personal fortune on commercials. "How much do your odds improve with a big ad buy at this point?" Tracey asked. "He's not competing against a Clinton or Obama, where money's not an issue."

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has made a small national cable buy for an ad that calls for the Internal Revenue Service to be abolished.

While the campaign has been in full swing for nearly a year, analysts say, the latest round of advertising could be pivotal because many voters in the Super Tuesday states are tuning in for the first time.

The Clinton ad featuring the skydiver says that "our economy could be heading into free fall," citing foreclosures, interest rates and health-care costs. As the skydiver's parachute unfurls, the spot touts Clinton as "the person you can depend on to fix the economy and protect our future."

In the other ad, Clinton praises America's "can-do spirit" and, in a veiled swipe at Obama, says: "We know you can't solve economic problems with political promises." A third ad quotes from a New York Times editorial endorsing her.

One Obama ad features excerpts of his speech after winning Saturday's South Carolina primary, in which he declares: "This election is about the past versus the future. . . . Don't tell me we can't change. Yes, we can." In another, he promises a middle-class tax cut and an end to the Iraq war. A third spot is more biographical, with Obama beginning: "My parents weren't rich. My father left me when I was very young."

Both Democrats are targeting Hispanic voters. Clinton is running a Spanish-language ad in such states as Arizona and California that says: "Millions of Hispanic families live with the fear of not having health insurance. . . . Hillary is our friend and will help us."

Obama's Spanish-language ad, also airing in Arizona and California, features Luis V. Gutierrez, a congressman from Chicago who touts him as a leader on immigration reform. "We know what it feels like being used as a scapegoat just because of our background and last name," Gutierrez says.

for link to article click the title of this post


wdsoulplane said...

Barack Obama's Health Care is the Same Universal Health Care offered by Hillary but with one Major Difference: You Have the Option of Choice! Do you want to be forced to pay for medical insurance like you are mandated to pay your auto insurance now? Or would you rather have the option of CHOICE --to be able to decide whether or not you want to buy your medical coverage at this time? This way Barack Obama's plan does not put another mandated cost, like auto insurance, on the backs of the people, especially the young who already have college costs to contend with. However, the coverage is always there for you, if and when you need it.

Anonymous said...

Here's an article about why Hillary's health care plan is superior to Barack's health care plan (the article also talks about a negative attack mailer from the Obama camp).

The main problem with the lack of mandates in the Obama plan is that people can skip health insurance until of course, they get sick and the public has to subsidize their treatment, which is one of the reasons why health care is so expensive. Having insurance would allow for preventative measures to take place instead of waiting until your really sick to go to the hospital. The author of the article (from The American Prospect, a liberal publication) explains it much better than I:

"Meanwhile, here's how Clinton should have explained the problem in Obama's plan: A central tenet of his proposal is that " No insurance companies will be allowed to discriminate because of a previous bout with cancer or some other pre-existing illness." You literally cannot have that rule without some mechanism forcing everyone to buy in, as the healthy will stay out. So one of two things will happen during the legislative process: Either a mandate will be added, or the prohibition against preexisting will be dropped, or limited to Obama's National Health Insurance Exchange. What will happen in that case is that the Exchange will largely become the domain of the public insurer, which will be a catch-all for the ill and unhealthy. Meanwhile, most insurers will operate outside the Exchange -- you don't have to buy insurance within the Exchange, it's just an option -- and use the existence of the Exchange to enhance their ability to skim the healthy and young and fob off the sick and old. A mandate is not how you cover everyone, it's how you force insurers to cover everyone, and discriminate against no one. And even if you don't have a mandate in your plan, to argue against universal mechanisms because they force people to buy insurance is supremely damaging to the long-term goal, which Obama professes support for, of some system in which everyone is, and has to be, covered."

Obama's plan is good and much better than anything the Republicans offer. But Hillary's plan is better because her plan is actually universal, provides more health care subsidies for everyone, and forces the insurance companies (without loopholes) to stop cherry picking clients.