California governor candidate Meg Whitman was a regular Speedy Gonzalez getting her Spanish-language ads on the airwaves immediately after her primary campaign (in which she pledged she would be “tough as nails” on illegal immigration — but later in Spanish, not so much).
Now Whitman has expanded her language tribalism to broadcast ads for Chinese — in both Cantonese and Mandarin to appeal to today’s diverse Asian community.
Predictably, pundits and expensive political consultants cite the Chinese as a potentially important group of swing voters. Aren’t they all?
Calif governor hopeful Meg Whitman courts Chinese vote, Reuters, October 13, 2010
Individuals of Asian descent make up 13 percent of the state’s population overall and about 6 percent of registered voters, said political science professor Jane Junn at the University of Southern California. Chinese-Americans account for the bulk of that number.
“It’s a pretty darn smart strategy on her part,” Junn said of Whitman’s recent Chinese-language media buy. “As far as we know, Asian-Americans are still up for grabs, and they’re going to be a critical swing vote, particularly in California.”
Here’s the Cantonese version:
The Whitman campaign released the following translation:
Announcer: Meg Whitman understands our community. She knows entrepreneurship, high-tech jobs and education are the keys to our future. She was a success at eBay, taking it from 30 people to 15,000. She can help California too.
She’ll get our economy moving with less taxes and red tape on small business. Control wasteful spending. Cut regulation. And invest in schools. More money in the classroom, help for higher education.
Meg Whitman. The change we need to get California going again.
Yoo hoo, Meg: voters are supposed to be citizens who are required to speak English. Some of us old-fashioned Americans still find non-English campaign ads to be offensive.