Friday, November 4, 2016

EXTRA: Does Kirk gain bonus points politically for speaking Spanish?

KIRK: Habla en Espanol
I'm sure that Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., thinks he gained himself some political points when, during a final debate held Friday between himself and Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth, he reverted to the use of the Spanish language.

He showed off his bilingual abilities when asked a question by Univision-Chicago broadcaster Erika Maldonado about where he stood on immigration reform, saying, "I'm going to answer this question in the language for whom the issue is most meaningful."
DUCKWORTH: Fighting back in Thai

HE THEN TRIED to say in Spanish that he has been a supporter of the issue, while most of his Republican colleagues in Congress have not. He also tried rubbing it in by saying, "My opponent does not speak any Spanish."

Of course, it could be argued that by trying to portray the issue as purely one impacting Latinos, he is trying to isolate it off so that other voters don't give it much thought. There's also the argument that by giving his answer of moderation in Spanish, he ensures that many of the people who are most hard-core xenophobic in their thought process won't have a clue what he said.

And won't be reminded just how much they disagree with Kirk on this issue, and many others. After all, if he were really in line with their thoughts, they'd probably be backing him and it could be argued that a Donald Trump presidential candidacy would have coat-tails strong enough to carry him back to the U.S. Senate.

I also couldn't help but notice the wire service news accounts of the debate, which indicated that while Duckworth may not speak Spanish, she did show off her skills in the Thai language when answering questions from reporter-types.


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