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Fiorina reaches out to Hispanics

by Christopher A. Guzman, published

Taking a page from gubernatorial candidate and fellow Republican Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina is considering the political consequences of being silent toward California Hispanics.  In her Senate campaign against Barbara Boxer, Fiorina is strategically courting the Hispanic vote through a specially developed campaign. 

According to the AP, the primary vehicle for this special campaign is through a website, which she launched at a Hispanic-owned catering company in front of a Hispanic audience.  Her intentions are obvious in this effort.  The website is called Amigos de Carly, and the event where she unveiled it was part of what the Los Angeles Times called an “ethnic outreach tour.” 

The Spanish language website is designed to be a one-stop spot where Hispanics can read about her record in their native language.  What's notable about the site is its PR aspect, as it features a picture of Fiorina with Hispanic leaders.  There is also the option to donate money if Hispanics are pleased with her message. 

During this ethnic outreach tour, Fiorina’s political calculating took into account making overtures toward other minority groups as well.  For one, Fiorina’s tour also included reaching out to the Black community. 

By way of timeliness and importance, however, it is no surprise that Fiorina has placed greater emphasis on attempting to generate a Hispanic voter bloc for the Republican Party in California.  But, the task seems next to impossible for Fiorina. Despite her Hispanic outreach, she continues to face a huge hurdle in convincing Hispanics. 

Whitman may have en easier time in courting some Hispanics because she has not necessarily endorsed the Arizona law, while Fiorina has supported it.  The law has certainly dunked Republicans in hot water with many in the Hispanic community who are outraged that it was signed by Republican governor Jan Brewer. 

Somehow, Fiorina must figure out a way to avoid being the target of that particular voter anger.  At this stage of the race, Fiorina has mapped out a position when it comes to dealing with illegal immigration, a position that includes some role for the federal government in building a temporary worker program. 

In light of the Arizona immigration law, politicians on both sides of the aisle remain very cautious, knowing that their every political move is being watched by Hispanics opposed to the law.  Earlier this year, Hispanic groups rallied in front of the White House where they promised to make Republicans and Democrats pay if they opposed a comprehensive immigration reform plan.

Most of their anger, however, was directed at Republicans, a fact that is sure to remain a formidable challenge for Fiorina.  

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