Last night I had the unique opportunity to speak, unofficially, in support of Barack Obama’s candidacy on a popular Spanish talk radio show hosted by César Vidal. The program was La Linterna and the station was the very right wing COPE. As a matter of fact, while waiting in the booth minutes before going on, I was so surprised by some of the shocking claims coming from the next room — for example that Obama would close the borders to all foreign trade or that FOX News was the only impartial news source in the U.S. — that I almost reconsidered going on.
But when I was finally up, Mr. Vidal and his regular troops (Florentino Portero, Javier Somalo, Gabriel Albiac, and the show’s production team) were extremely friendly and welcoming. I was also joined by two Republican women, one from Republicans Abroad and the other from Spain for McCain. At first, it was a little difficult to get my sea legs and feel totally comfortable expressing myself on the radio in Spanish, but eventually, I was ready for a good discussion. In listening to the above now, I must admit that I am incredibly embarrassed by my lack of eloquence (I don’t go on until around minute 30).
My goal from the beginning was to present an American voting public in support of Obama that was above the name calling and divisiness. While the woman from Republicans Abroad appeared to follow the same tone, the one from Spain for McCain was much more confrontational and accusatorial, also bringing up those absurd Obama shutting the U.S. borders claims and pushing McCain’s counter-intuitive fiscal stance. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to call her on the obvious facts: not only has Obama not proposed any such thing, but the Bush Administration with John McCain in the Senate has the worst record on trade protectionism and spending in recent history. But why bother; Americans have made up their minds, and today the McCain arguments are moot. Continue reading