Friday, January 14, 2011

GOP could take lessons from Jeb Bush on how to relate to Hispanics

Jeff and his Mexican-born wife, Columba
Today's Wall Street Journal has a story about Jeb Bush and how he could really help the Hispanically-challenged GOP. Reporter Mary Anastasia Ogrady recentely had a chance to interview Mr. Bush.
It appears that Jeb Bush's view of Hispanics is not what you would expect from a Republicn leader Following is part of Ms. Ogrady's feature on the former Florida Governor she writes:

Mr. Bush's wife was born in Mexico, he is fluent in Spanish, and he lives in a heavily Hispanic state, so he has great interest in our hemisphere. He's also had unusual success earning the political support of Spanish-speaking Americans, so I ask him what tips he has for his immigrant-challenged party.

His answer comes effortlessly. Hispanics aren't monolithic, he says, but all immigrants—"the newly arrived and the second generation"—share one trait: "They're aspirational." Conservative candidates, therefore, should promote "policies that reward people who are aspirational." That's what he did, and 60% of Democratic Hispanic voters supported his re-election in 2002, he says.

One problem for Republicans, he says, is that "the tone of our message is one of 'them and us' sometimes." At least that's what gets "magnified in the press," with immigration policy being the flash point. It's "a shame," he says, because Republicans and immigrants have a lot in common. "But if you send a signal that we really don't want you as part of our team, they're not going to join."

Democrats promise more entitlements, and immigrants tend to be on the lower economic rungs. So are most Hispanics destined to be democrats?   Mr. Bush couldn't disagree more. "There are people who believe in expanding the welfare state across the spectrum of races and ethnicities and creeds," he says, but that's not a common value among Hispanics. "If you had to pick the values that would be held dear to a broad number of Hispanic voters, access to opportunity would be a higher value than guarantee of security, particularly amongst the newly arrived, meaning the last 20 years."


  1. I guess the Republicans will soon follow the formula used by the Viva Kennedy Clubs of the 1960s.

  2. Boehner and McConnell don't look that smart but you never know. Arriba!