Hillary’s “Abuela” Blunder Won’t Cost Her


When you’re a presidential candidate trying to connect with every demographic, you have to be careful not to stray into the land of the absurd. Democrats must tread with special caution because so much of their strategy is invested in playing hero to ethnic minorities. Vote for me, they say – I’m the only candidate who really gets your unique community values. As Hillary Clinton discovered this week, though, the line between harmless outreach and offensive pandering is an easy one to cross.

The headline on her official website read: 7 Ways Hillary Clinton is just Like Your Abuela.

On its face, this was just another attempt by the Clinton campaign to position her as a kind, matronly figure who is as comfortable with a child on her lap as she is in the war room. This manufactured public image debuted before she had even announced her candidacy; she was weighing the hard work of being president against the joys of being a grandmother. Few were shocked at her final decision.

This article, presumably, was intended to push that public image while also bolstering her appeal among Hispanics. Unfortunately for her, no one was buying it. #NotMyAbuela trended to the top of Twitter within hours, appended to messages like these:

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My abuela was a long-suffering, low-wage agricultural worker & mother of 9 who was never afforded your privileges, Hillary Clinton.

Oh Hilary. No. Just because you throw a Spanish word on it doesn’t make it Latino. please stop #hispandering.

Hillary is a FAKE politician, she is NOT Latino and she is racist who ASSUMES we will vote for her.

Angry though the Hispanic community may have been, though, it’s hard to believe that this will be anything other than a minor stumble for Clinton. Republicans have all but destroyed their chances of pulling Hispanic voters to their side. Are the liberal Hispanic activists group really going to back someone else at this point? Clinton could threaten to build a wall, and she would still win the Hispanic vote by a wide margin.

Much of the outrage came from Hispanics who felt that Hillary Clinton was taking their votes for granted. But what evidence is there that she shouldn’t? Democrats have successfully positioned themselves as the champions of the Hispanic population, and Republicans aren’t even bothering to fight this perception. Worse, the media has all but labeled anyone in favor of a strong border as a racist.

Clinton may not remind many Hispanics of their abuela, but as long as this racial narrative persists, she doesn’t have much to worry about.

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