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Archive for June, 2011

It’s all about Texas these days. On day two of the road trip, we entered the Lone Star state for three days of adventures.

Armed with my boyfriend’s hat, my dad and my Jeep Liberty we took on Texas.

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The 10 hour drive from New Orleans and down the Eastern coast of Texas went by smoothly as we enjoyed the changing scenery- farms, towns, rail roads… It was a welcomed change from the mundane drive through Florida where most of what we saw was just tall trees on either side.

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We breezed through Houston as we made our way South in route to Hidalgo, TX to visit with family. My cousin Yani and her husband live on the other side of the border in Reynosa, Mexico. I hadn’t seen her in 13 years.

While driving on I-10 my dad made the commentary that what he really wanted to do is travel through backroads to see the “real” country side. God must have been paying attention, soon after we where driving on tiny two lane highways through almost forgotten Texas towns.

Some of the “largest” towns we drove through include Refugio, TX, the hometown of baseball great Nolan Ryan, and the city of Falfurrias, TX with a population of 5,297. (I think my high school had about 3,000 students alone.)

My father’s only complaint on the drive was the apparent absence of Texas Longhorns. He commented in Spanish “ni vaca de cuerno largo, ni cuernos corto.” Saying he hadn’t seen hardly any cattle on the drive. Growing up on a farm he loves animals and keeps an eye out for farms, ranchos and livestock during our road trips. Hopefully during the next few days in Texas he will finally see some famous Texas Longhorns.

20110614-092229.jpgAbout 5:30 pm we arrived in Hidalgo. My cousins soon after picked us up to take us to dinner. We originally wanted to cross over the border to Reynosa, but figured customs would give us a hassle given all the bags jammed in to my car. We went to dinner at the great American establishment, The Olive Garden.

The most interesting part of our dinner conversation was how social media, like twitter and Facebook, are helping keep Mexican citizens safe. Yani’s husband, Luis, showed me Facebook and twitter users who continuously report when violent incidents occur within Mexico warning people to stay away. The updates are quickly circulated and have helped many Mexicans avoid deadly situations.

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Road Trip Update: Map

Greetings from Hidalgo, TX. Here is a quick update, via map, of where we have been during this road trip. We are about to start Day 3… More details shortly

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Fausta Wertz of Fausta’s Blog writes about President Obama’s visit to Puerto Rico at PJ Media. Check out this great piece discussing the preparations on the island and topics Obama will likely cover during his speech, including Puerto Rican statehood.

“Obama in Puerto Rico: How Will His ‘PR’ Stunt Play Out?”

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/obama-in-puerto-rico-how-will-his-pr-stunt-play-out/

Fausta writes:
“Expect a raucous welcome, but knowledgeable Puerto Rican voters in the U.S. know the island’s Republican governor has their economy recovering via his austerity measures.”

It will also be interesting to see how the visit is portrayed in Puerto Rican communities within the continental United States.

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On Sunday, my Dad and I started our road trip out west departing from Miami a little bit before 6 am. The sun had yet to rise, but our adventure was well on its way.

After 13+ hours in the car we both felt like it was the longest car ride ever – and it was, as we logged in over 1,000 miles. The feeling was probably augmented by the fact that it took over 10 hours just to get out of Florida.

Driving on I-10 West we finally made it to our Day One destination – New Orleans.

As we got off the expressway and made our way to our hotel on Canal Street, my Dad’s face lit up like a child on Christmas when he saw the street cars. He shouted “¡Mira los tranvias!” They reminded him of his childhood in Mexico when he would go in to the big city, Veracruz, which was once busy with street car (tranvias) traffic as a means for public transportaion.

We jumped on the St. Charles street car to see NoLa’s Garden District and historic homes. Ironically, I ran into a D.C. reporter I’ve worked with on past campaigns who was in vacation with her husband…. When the street car got stuck behind a car accident we (including the reporter, her husband and two very lost Texans) all had a mini-adventure trying to find our way back to Canal street by foot. Thank goodness, my iPhone and google maps saved the day!!!

Greeted by street performers and fellow camera toting tourists, we finally made our way to Bourbon Street in hopes of finding some dinner.

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As expected, once in the French Quarters my Dad started taking pictures as we meandered down the crowded streets. Before long we called it a night (especially after seeing the Miami Heat loss).

We got an early rise this morning to squish in some last minute sightseeing in New Orleans. First stop, Jackson Square.
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Republicans are gaining ground with the crucial Latino swing vote with the help of a growing number of Hispanic Republicans.

In the 2010 election cycle various Latino candidates gained national attention with their electoral victories including Governor Sandoval of NV, Governor Martinez of NM and Senator Marco Rubio- all of them are Republican.

The GOP has been better at recruiting and supporting qualified Latino candidates. Democrats are worried they are loosing Latino support, and they should be. Many in the Hispanic community want to see more Hispanic representation and Latino Dems are wondering why they aren’t getting the needed support from their Party.

The L.A. Times A1 writes:

“Left is losing its hold on Latinos: Democrats need to do more if they want to counter GOP gains, strategists say,” by Mark Z. Barabak: “Brian Sandoval and Susana Martinez made history. He became Nevada’s first Latino governor. In New Mexico, she became the country’s first Latina governor. … Both are Republicans. For many in the GOP, the twin victories last November, along with the election of Sen. Marco Rubio in Florida, marked an important step in efforts to mend the party’s frayed ties with Latino voters, which have suffered over the last several years of hard-line talk on immigration. For Democrats, the election of the three was something else: a warning sign at a time when Latino support has grown increasingly vital to the party’s success, especially in the battleground states of the Rocky Mountains and desert Southwest. …[T]he Democratic Party … has, in particular, not done enough to help Latino candidates move from city council, legislative and congressional seats to the party’s highest elected offices.” ….

“Nothing sells the message that Hispanics are welcome and wanted more readily than having Hispanics on the ticket,” said former New Mexico GOP Chairman Harvey Yates, who played a major role in Martinez’s success.

Read the full L.A. times story here http://lat.ms/jIwTdk

Blogging from my iPhone

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In just a few short minutes my father and I will embark on our second cross-country road trip. Departing from Miami, Florida we will travel West on the open road for the next week.

In 2009 in The Bad Lands in South Dakota

Two summers ago, in 2009, my father and I did a similar trip, traveling from D.C. to California stopping in places like Mount Rushmore, Chicago and Salt Lake City. This time around we make our way through Louisiana, Texas and the Grand Canyon.

It is safe to say that my father is beyond excited. My dad is a Mexican immigrant who came to this country when he was 33 years old. His lightly tanned skin is from years of growing up on a farm in a tiny town in Veracruz, Mexico. Armed with several cameras for the road trip, he often says on our travels to that he never imagined seeing so much wonder in America. A retired school bus driver, he doesn’t mind driving, which makes him an excellent road trip companion.

It is a unique experience traveling with a parent as an adult. I think you appreciate your time together much more. I am much more thankful for my father as I enter my third decade of life and treasure moments with him much more, especially now. In 2008 my father was told he had cancer in his liver. For the last two years he has undergone chemo treatment and thank the Lord it has been successful. Currently he has no cancer in his liver, and we hope it stays that way.

I look forward to my time with my dad on this road trip and making long-lasting memories. I hope that all people take time in their lives to make special memories with their loved ones. It’s not always easy to carve out the time, but it is what makes life worth living.

Hopefully during this week long adventure I will post pictures and tweet from @BettinaInclan on Twitter. Look forward to reading your comments.

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From Politico’s Mike Allen morning email, next Tuesday, June 14th Senator Marco Rubio will give his first speech on the Senate floor, an important milestone in his Senate career. Watch the video below as Senator Rubio describes the importance of this maiden speech and invites supporters to log on to Facebook and twitter and give feedback on his speech.

From Politico:

RUBIO’S DEBUT — RealClearPolitics’ Erin McPike: “Florida Republican Marco Rubio, the only freshman senator yet to deliver a maiden speech on the Senate floor, will take that step on Tuesday afternoon, according to his advisers. … Rubio’s team will release a video to supporters tonight describing the speech, which he calls important to his Senate career because he will explain why he ran for the office and what he wants to do in his tenure.” http://bit.ly/jhohyo … The video: http://youtu.be/sooAb0nnzbs

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With the race to the White House heating up, presidential campaigns continue to make key hires to their staffs. Yesterday, CNN reported that the Obama campaign hired Katherine Archuleta as the campaign’s political director. Archuleta will be the first Latina to be a political director for a presidential campaign. Yesterday, the Daily Caller asked me about the implications of Obama’s choice in the 2012 campaign and specifically the Latino vote in “Obama to announce political director for 2012 reelection campaign“.

“It will help Obama to have someone who not only understands the community, but is from the community,” said Republican political strategist Bettina Inclán, a Latina. “Appointing this woman as his political director just cements the importance of connecting with the Hispanic community for his campaign and should serve as a wake up call to Republican campaigns about the pivotal role of Latino voters in this election.”

Read the full piece and the role of Latinos in swing states here.

While Archuleta’s ethnicity does not secure Latino victory for the Obama campaign, it does ensure that connecting with Latino voters is something being considered in every decision and not a campaign afterthought, as it has been in past cycles for both Republicans and Democrats.

America has changed, and we Republicans can no longer afford to wait to the last push of the election to connect with Latino voters. All American’s are facing the same economic challenges. Latino issues are American issues. Hispanic voters deserve, and need to be getting the same message in English (and Spanish), with a  culturally relevant approach. The Latino vote is a swing vote and will go to the candidate who best connects with those voters.

Just yesterday, the RNC rolled out their electoral road map to victory and it included states with significant Hispanic populations such as New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado and Florida. If a beefed up, long-term Latino outreach program is not part of the RNC’s strategy to win these states, a GOP victory will be difficult. In recent days the RNC has moved in positive direction and hired new staff.

There is no question that President Obama has an uphill battle with Latinos this cycle. Many are disappointed with President Obama for his multiple broken promises, which is clearly demonstrated in his plummeting approval numbers among Latino voters.  Yet, President Obama has always been a better campaigner then President. Archuletta’s hire might be more of a symbolic move for Latinos voters to prove that Hispanics engagement will be important in the 2012 cycle.

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Today, Javier Manjarres, the managing editor of The Shark Tank, today launched a new site, Hispolitica. The news video driven site aims to provide a fresh perspective on politics and culture…

from the site:

HISPOLITICA seeks to influence the political debate within the Latino community as well as in the country at large.   First and foremost, We believe that the overwhelming majority of Latinos live and embrace conservative values- hard work, self reliance, belief in God, respect for life, and have an increasing distrust of expansive government that seeks greater control over their private economic activity.

During the 2010 election campaign, Democrat Senator Harry Reid shamefully commented that “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican.” It is precisely this kind of soft bigotry and ignorance that we believe needs to be confronted.  Memo to Harry Reid- Latinos and Hispanics can think for themselves– and it is not you or the Democrat Party who knows what is best for them; rather it is individuals who happen to be of Latino descent that already know what is in their best interests and can form their own political opinions accordingly without your ill-informed advice.

Latinos are not only American citizens that are successfully assimilating within this country, they are rising the corridors of power- most notably from within the Republican Party. Governors Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Brian Sandoval of Nevada, as well as Senator Marco Rubio are testament to that reality….

read more at: http://hispolitica.com

Make sure to check it out and sign up for the site. I’m sure that Javier, who won CPAC’s blogger of the year for The Shark Tank, will be producing an amazing site with Hispolitica…

 

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With all of her goofy negative remarks the last few weeks, American Crossroads has created a video dubbing Democratic National Committee Chair, and Florida Congresswoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz as “Debbie Downer.”

Have a look and please share!

For the Twitters, please use #debbiedowner. Make sure to follow American Crossroads at @americanxroads

 

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