Obama's unprecedented "Mensaje"

Speaking to and engaging the Spanish-speaking electorate has been a focus of ours at NDN and NPI. As we wrote in the Speak in Spanish memo of our New Tools Campaign:

Simply targeting Hispanics is not sufficient - communication must also include a Spanish language strategy. Bi-lingual communication, including a Spanish language component, must become a central part of any strategy pursued by groups seeking to appeal to the Hispanic community.

Having seen his new ad running in Puerto Rico, it seems as if Sen. Barack Obama understood what we were saying at the very least. In "Mensaje a Puerto Rico", Obama speaks with a decent Spanish accent (according to Andres) throughout the entire 30 second ad. This is unprecedented in presidential politics, as no likely nominee or incumbent of either party has ever looked directly into the camera and spoken Spanish for the duration of an ad. Check it out below.

Obama is truly paving the way with this ad, which is a tremendous step forward in engaging a community that is a continuously rising force in American politics and is one that, according to our Electoral maps, could hold the key to an enduring majority. For that reason, it would now be a let down if he didn't air similar ads in the Southwest in the weeks and months ahead.