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September 09, 2007

Destino 2008

There’s another Democratic debate tonight but you may not have heard much about it because it’s the ‘Spanish’ debate. I use the quotes around Spanish because the candidates, even the two who speak Spanish (Richardson and Dodd), will speak in English while their answers are translated. At least that’s the theory, I am sure those two will work in as much Spanish as possible.

But fear not, non-Spanish speakers can use their closed captioning to see what the candidates say.

I get there are a lot of people who speak Spanish in this country (Univisioin, which is airing the debate, is apparently the 5th most watched network in the country) but why conduct the debate in Spanish? Is the pool of native born Americans of voting age who speak Spanish but not English that big? And aren’t naturalized citizens from any country supposed to demonstrate a proficiency in English before becoming citizens and thus eligible to vote? So, what exactly is the purpose of this exercise?

The one interesting thing about tonight is that it doesn't seem the Democrats have spoken about immigration in any of their previous debates (and God help me, I think I’ve seen them all), including the one that took place the night the amnesty bill died in the Senate. It seems likely that will change tonight.

Univision offered the Republicans the same chance but all the candidates declined or failed to respond save one. John McCain. Oh and when the idea was originally floated in June, RNC Chairman and Senator Mel Martinez thought the idea was just swell.

“I think it would be terrific, I think it would be a good idea,” said Martinez, whose candidacy for RNC chairman was opposed by some conservative Republicans because of his stance on immigration reform. “I’ve been looking for ways in which I could encourage something like that happening. I think having candidates address the largest minority group in America would be a terrific thing.

“A network that the Hispanic community of America watches would be the right forum,” he said.

The debate airs tonight on Univision from 7-8:30.

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posted by DrewM. at 05:17 PM

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