It was a solid effort, but as is all too common with political campaigns, Hillary Clinton and her team have landed themselves in some troubled waters following a (well-intentioned) faux pas. On Monday, the Democratic front-runner’s campaign site featured a brand new blog post, “7 things Hillary Clinton has in common with your abuela.” Sadly, the Twitterverse didn’t take kindly to that list.
The rather kitschy post seems harmless enough — it’s about as predictable as its BuzzFeed-esque headline suggests it would be. Highlighting the fact that she’s a grandmother, the post points to her love of children and bedtime stories, but adds in a healthy dose of Spanish words and references (hi, Marc Antony). And while it makes strategic sense for the candidate to be targeting a Hispanic demographic, the overwhelming amount of cheesiness (how many times can you say “respeto” in one blog entry), has backfired. And as usual, the Internet has picked up on it.
Soon after the post went live, the hashtag #NotMyAbuela began trending on both Facebook and Twitter, and responses are alternately hilarious and scathing.
After Clinton campaign spectacularly misses the mark – Latinos tell her you're #NotMyAbuela: https://t.co/Ine9BZ9kmg pic.twitter.com/lGw0N4gJ8H
— AJ+ (@ajplus) December 22, 2015
Accusing the post of being patronizing and pandering, many respondents took the opportunity to point out the hardships their grandmothers faced when immigrating to the U.S., or in many cases, still face today.
@ajplus @jose6neros @millennialmummy my abuela never wore a pantsuit #NotMyAbuela
— CaddMaster (@cadmstr01) December 23, 2015
My abuela came to this country from Ecuador with 4 kids, worked min wage 3 jobs, and still got all her kids through college #NotMyAbuela
— Alex (@alexjs85) December 23, 2015
#NotMyAbuela Instead of standing there while he lied, my Abuela would have beat him and left him crying pic.twitter.com/lHK95WOcIF
— Niko (@NikoTheFarmer) December 23, 2015
Hilary Clinton is #NotMyAbuela except for that stone cold Machiavellian part
— Molly Crabapple (@mollycrabapple) December 23, 2015
Hillary’s campaign be like: pic.twitter.com/JXv1Ol6rEA
— Mathew Rodriguez (@mathewrodriguez) December 22, 2015
Latinos aren't one size fits all. It takes more than a few Spanish words & cute pictures to get the Latino vote. #hillaryabuela #NotMyAbuela
— Vanessa Oden Show (@VanessaOden) December 22, 2015
Putting this egg on your TL so it soaks up all the bad energy & brujería from Hillary Clinton #NotMyAbuela pic.twitter.com/qIQoAU8umJ
— #SBStrong (@ItsMeFeliz) December 22, 2015
Hilary is #NotMiAbuela #NotMyAbuela because I was separated by mine by many miles, and a militarized border pic.twitter.com/3cGk3dkIa7
— Marisol Ramos (@LaMarichola) December 22, 2015
This is not the first time Clinton (and many other candidates) have made appeals to the Hispanic community in the United States. As the Washington Post reported, back in October, the Democrat made another reference that made a few people a bit uncomfortable. “I gotta tell you, I love being ‘La Hillary,’” Clinton said at a rally in Texas. “I promise I will keep working on my pronunciation — but I’m not just La Hillary. I’m tu Hillary.”
It’s a work in progress, to be sure.
So lesson learned, campaign team — just saying you’re similar to an entire ethnic group doesn’t make it true.
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