Latino Politics: Mariachi Style

Both Hillary and Obama Dance to That Tune

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Laura Martinez Laura Martinez
Latino bloggers went crazy last week, lambasting Hillary Clinton for her parading around with a 5-year-old boy in a mariachi suit during a rally in El Paso, Texas. Upon receiving a bouquet of flowers from the petit mariachi, the candidate held hands with him and walked ostentatiously onstage as a mostly Latino cheering crowd roared with chants of ¡Viva Hillary!

But if your Latin heart didn't skip a beat upon witnessing such a Kodak moment in Hispanic politics, wait until you hear Viva Obama, a catchy mariachi-style corrido pitching the Illinois senator as a man of humble origins who, just like us Latinos, was "born without pretension." That will surely make your heart melt.

A video posted this week by the Amigos de Obama website on features a 7-member mariachi band roaming the streets of Los Angeles, while groups of cooks, gardeners, mechanics and construction workers sing along holding up signs that read ¡Viva Obama!



But before you start cringing at the exploitation of yet one more stereotype, you should know the Obama mariachi tune and accompanying video are not at all part of the Obama campaign. Instead, they are the creation of Miguel Orozco, the president of an interactive agency in Los Angeles and Chicago, who just happens to be a fan of the Illinois Senator.

In an interview this week with CandidatoUSA Mr. Orozco said the mariachi tune was actually designed as a viral campaign to spread the word among Latinos in anticipation of the Texas primaries. And it is by no means the only one. Putting in motion all the mechanisms of a marketing blitz, Mr. Orozco has crafted something for every demographic. There is also an Obama reggaeton targeting Latino youth; and a series of mini-telenovelas, designed to appeal the older crowd, all of them paid for by Mr. Orozco out of his own pocket.

I have no idea if posing with the mini-mariachi will boost Mrs. Clinton's chances among Texan voters or if Obama will see a growing fan base among music-loving Latinos. All I can tell you is that since I heard the ¡Viva Obama! tune for the first time this morning, I can't get it out of my head. How's that for a catchy jingle?



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