Spanish language

The Biggest Untold Story of the Obama Presidency - White House Outreach to Hispanics

At the 100 day marker of President Barack Obama's time in office there were many articles going over what he's done, has not done, wants to do, will do, etc.  The most important untold story is the way Barack Obama has continued to revolutionize the way in which he communicates with the public - namely, a concerted and unprecedented Hispanic outreach strategy.  Long ago, NDN began arguing the importance of the Hispanic electorate and the importance of speaking in Spanish for candidates and public officials. 

Years later, candidate Barack Obama came along with record-breaking levels of outreach to Hispanics and the first television ad in a U.S. general Presidential election in which the candidate speaks entirely en español.

Now, at the White House, President Obama has continued this full fledged effort to communicate with Hispanics - in English and Spanish - at a level of sophistication never seen before.  Spanish language media has caught on, with major outlets like La Opinión, CNN en Español, and EFE highlighting this unprecedented effort.  Notably, "mainstream" media has not reported on Obama's efforts to reach every corner of the fastest growing electorate - often in their own language.

Most recently, on Friday May 8 the White House held its first ever Spanish-language town hall with Latino activists, community leaders, and health care providers from all over the country.  A feat that Univision (who coordinated the event with the White House) described as "an unprecedented and an historic effort to establish a dialogue with the Hispanic community, the largest minority group in the country."  Click here for the entire video and transcript of the town hall.

Just a few days before the town hall, President Obama continued the practice of celebrating Cinco de Mayo - a date of historical importance for Mexico.  President Obama has also demonstrated a commitment to the "shared challenges" between the U.S. and Mexico and to establishing a new dialogue with the Latin American region through a concerted diplomatic mission.  During March and April this mission took the U.S. Vice President to Chile and Central America, the U.S. Secretary of State, Secretary of Homeland Security, the U.S. Attorney General, and the President himself to Mexico and to the Summit of the Americas.

Prior to his travels, the President announced a historic shift in U.S. policy towards Cuba.  The change in policy was matched by its equally historic presentation, with a briefing in Spanish by Dan Restrepo.  When Mr. Restrepo, Senior Adviser to the President on Latin America, addressed the Spanish-language media in their native tongue, he became the first person to speak a language other than English during a White House briefing:


Hispanic voters also love Spanish-language entertainers - President Obama had a guest appearance that rocked the Premios Lo Nuestro award ceremony:

These targeted efforts complement an unprecedented general practice of bi-lingual press and communications by the White House.  President Obama has also held two major interviews with the most popular radio host in the country (who happens to be a Spanish-language radio host), "El Piolin," in addition to already having held four full-length interviews with the two principal Univision News anchors, Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas (two interviews with each).  These examples clearly highlight the way in which President Obama "gets" that most Hispanics (80% by most polls) speak Spanish and listen to Spanish language media, even if they are English-language dominant.  We congratulate the President on his continued efforts to building a new bridge of understanding between the White House and the vast Hispanic community.

Daily Ad Wars Spanish

The ad wars continue en español. Barack Obama moves on from immigration to speak to Hispanic voters in Spanish about another issue close to their heart: Healthcare. Obama just launched a television ad called Seguro Médico, or "Health Insurance", and a radio ad called Batallando, "Battling". Another demonstration of the increasing importance of Spanish language media as the Hispanic electorate grows.

[TALENT #1:]

For the last 12 years, I have been battling diabetes.

With the economy being so bad, I lost my job and my health insurance. Now I don't know how I will pay for my medicines and my medical bills.

John McCain's health plan allows insurance companies to deny people coverage if they have preexisting conditions.

This doesn't help people like me.

Barack Obama is the only one that offers us a solution.

Barack Obama's health plan makes health insurance accessible for all ...
...and it reduces costs for families struggling to pay for their insurance.

One out of every three Hispanics in this country lacks health insurance. What will John McCain and the Republicans do for them?

Barack Obama will stand up to insurance companies and special interests so that are families are protected.

That is his commitment.

[BO:] I'm Barack Obama, candidate for President, and I approve this message.



[Nexador Rodriguez:]
A lot of people that I know have to decide between getting sick and eating.

[Liz Carrazco:]
I have relatives in my family that don't have health insurance and they have serious illnesses.

...I'm not working, and well, I don't have health insurance and right now it's very difficult.

Barack Obama and the Democrats are fighting to make health care accessible to everyone. Reducing the costs.
Covering more families.


And I think that he is going to be the person that is going to help us. He is my inspiration.

[BO:] I´m Barack Obama and I approve this message.

Translation of Visuals:
One in three Hispanics have no health care

Health Care for All

The Obama Health Care Plan

Learn more about the plan:

Lower Costs for Families



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