The Texas Musical Massacre

Hillary and Barack Keep Singing Love Songs to Latin Market

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Laura Martinez Laura Martinez
With the Texas primaries around the corner, the presidential hopefuls have wasted no time pandering to courting Latinos, who constitute over 50% of the state's total population and could even decide the fate of the Democratic nomination. And what better way to do this than with guitars, drums, accordions and violins?

Last week, we told you about ¡Viva Obama! a mariachi song and video launched by the Amigos de Obama website, which barely one week after launch got a lot of media attention, making it not only to the nation's top political blogs, but widely covered by several Latin American newspapers and magazines. In only a few days the video posted on YouTube reported over 230,000 views and hundreds of comments, good, bad and ugly.

Not to be outdone, the Hillary Clinton camp this week released its own tune, a Spanish-language cumbia aptly titled "Hillary, Hillary Clinton," a 3-minute song pitching her as someone who "can bring the change Latino voters need to end the war." Of course, there is the added bonus that she is married to a former president. Excerpts:
We need a change, we have to improve
And there is only one candidate that can do it
She has the experience, her husband already lead
And with what they did together our people improved
According to a press release sent out by the Clinton campaign this week, the song was written and performed by Houston-based Latin sensation Mango Punch and it's introduced by Tejano musician Johnny Canales, who dedicates the song to his amiga Hillary Clinton.

But unlike Obama mariachi song, which was composed by and paid for an independent agency guy who is a supporter, Clinton's cumbia is actually sanctioned by the Clinton campaign (Hillary, at the end of the song, approves the message). What is less clear is who was behind the video, a corny photo montage featuring the Senator attending several Latino events (including the one with the mini-Mariachi), shots of "Ugly Betty" star America Ferrera and a healthy dose of piñatas.

Luckily for us, bloggers, the musical face off leading up to Texas is only beginning. Also this week, an enthusiastic group of Obama supporters launched their own rendition of La Bamba featuring Cerronato, an Austin-based diverse musical ensemble, which in a creative twist substitute the words "La Bamba" with "Vota Obama."

Still, my personal favorite is Obama-supporter Ted Kennedy's one-minute rendition of ¡Jalisco, no te rajes!, which he performed last week a cappella in front of a cheering crowd of Laredo democrats.

I am looking forward to the next musical treat courtesy of the presidential campaigns. Who cares really what's in store for NAFTA, the economy, the wall and the war? So far, the candidates' talk is nothing but music to our ears.

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Read more from Laura daily at Mi Blog Es Tu Blog.
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