Hispandering Hillary

During the early years of the Clintons' presidency their only child, daughter Chelsea, was in full awkward pre adolescence -- slightly chubby, braces on her teeth, unruly curly hair. The Clintons admirably decreed then:

"It's the request of the president and Mrs. Clinton that Chelsea be allowed to have as normal a childhood as possible while living at the White House," said Neel Lattimore, the first lady's spokesman.

But that was over 20 years ago and now another Clinton is running for president and the grown up, married, mother and mother to be, Chelsea, is not only an active part of her mother's campaign she's allowing her daughter, the Clintons' granddaughter, to be exploited to advance her mother's presidential pursuit. She publicly announced both her pregnancies and allowed her daughter to be used in a campaign ad targeted to those from Spanish speaking countries as a way to humanize her mother as a grandmother "7 things Hillary Clinton has in common with your abuela", formerly  "7 ways Hillary Clinton is just like your abuela."  The last word is Spanish for grandmother.  

It’s no secret that Hillary is loving her role as grandma. And she was thrilled to learn that next summer, her granddaughter Charlotte will have a sibling to play with. 

She’s always happy to talk about her “beautiful, perfect” granddaughter, she’s an eager volunteer for babysitting duty, and whenever she travels around the country, she makes sure to bring back a gift for Charlotte—sound familiar?

Too familiar in the wrong way to wise Hispanics. Throwing in some Spanish words on the site, white skin privileged, wealthy, bleached blonde, highly educated Hillary condescendingly explains to potential voters from Spanish speaking countries she's just like their grandmother.  Except she isn't and her identity politics, targeted audience fought back hard on twitter, contemptuously labeling her attempt Hispandering and forcefully insisting #Not My Abuela or, in Spanish, #Not Mi Abuela.  

And there they told her off.  A sampling from these sites:

phoebe ‏@phoebeyonce  Dec 22

my abuela was a long-suffering,low-wage agricultural worker&mother of 9 who was never afforded your privileges, @HillaryClinton #NotMyAbuela

Ben Walters ‏@TheBenWalters  2d2 days ago

Reminder-- GOP has 2 Latinos and 3 fluent Spanish speakers. D's have phony politician who gave us the term #Hispandering. #NotMyAbuela

Daniel T. Clark ‏@Danieldcclark  2d2 days ago   Sorry last I checked abuelitas don't run political campaigns funded by big banks and the private prison lobby #NotMyAbuela #Hispandering

Latino Rebels ‏@latinorebels  2d2 days ago

#Hispandering at its worst by @HillaryClinton campaign leads to #NotMyAbuela http://www.latinorebels.com/2015/12/22/just-when-you-thought-hillary-clinton-couldnt-hispander-any-more-she-did-it-again/ …

  1. Christina Torres ‏@biblio_phile  2d2 days agoKalaoa, HI

Christina Torres Retweeted Latino Rebels

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

Andrew Baldizon‏@andrewbaldizon   My Abuelas are not political props

Gonzales Vargas ‏@G0nzales_Vargas  14h14 hours ago

hillary is a FAKE politican, she is NOT latino and she is racist who ASSUMES we will vote for her

Viva la causa! ‏@70torinoman  Dec 22 Ya, I remember the good old days when my abuelita conspired with the CIA to topple a democratically elected govt in Honduras. NotMyAbuela

mixer ‏@AryanaaBM  Dec 22  Mi abuela wouldn't try to buy Latino votes by using Spanish words & trying to seem relatble to struggles she'll never know #NotMyAbuela   

Nick Short ‏@PoliticalShort  Dec 22 Nick Short Retweeted Hillary Clinton  

Such a conundrum for @HillaryClinton as she panders in Spanish while her donors speak Arabic. #NotMyAbuela

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz, of Puerto Rican descent, exploded at the insult and lack of cultural understanding.  http://datechguyblog.com/2015/12/23/no-hillary-you-most-definitely-are-notmyabuela/#readability

First, the breach in etiquette: In all Spanish-language countries, you have to expect that bringing up to complete strangers someone’s mother (tu madre) or grandmother (tu abuela) directly in the familiar (tu abuela instead of su abuela), especially without using the more genteel abuelita, will be taken as an insult. I don’t know how no one in the campaign, the focus group, or the chain of people coming up with this list could not have realized it.

Compound the breach in etiquette with this,

She isn’t afraid to talk about the importance of el respeto (especially when it comes to women) …

for a double whammy of ironic, patronizing cluelessness. As a native speaker of both English and Spanish, I’m fine with R-E-S-P-E-C-T, thank you, regardless of gender.

The list then completes the Hispandering checklist by showing Hillary with Marc Anthony,

Everybody loves abuela—even this guy.

Proud of her heritage but not totally identified by it, Rodriguez Wertz forcefully continues

Let alone that the question, how does being a grandmother uniquely qualifies anyone aspiring for President of the United States?, lays bare the fact that Hillary is running only because she’s put up with Bill all these years, and their deal is that it’s now her turn. Nothing else in her entire life uniquely qualifies her. Hillary – who may know who Mary Pickford was – is too old to call herself “America’s sweetheart,” so she settles for “America’s grandmother,” opportunistically changing the latter word for Hispandering.

I won’t debase my own Puerto Rican grandmothers by listing the thousand ways Hillary Clinton could never measure up to them, 

And btw Hillary, another helpful hint for you and your increasingly clueless, out of touch campaign staff:  if you try your identity politics pandering with other groups you will definitely be schlonged again because not only are you #not my abuela they will indignantly inform you that you are #not my bubbe, #not my yaya, #not my opa, #not my nanna, #not my bunica, #not my oba-chan, #not my savta, #not my maimeó, #not my babushka.  And definitely #not my grandmother.