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The Democratic Response You Didnít See
NRO ^ | 1/21/04 | Byron York

Posted on 01/21/2004 9:39:40 AM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection

There were three official Democratic responses to President Bush's State of the Union speech Tuesday night. There was the foreign-policy response — "America must be a light to the world, not just a missile" — delivered by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. There was the domestic-policy response — "We can also show our patriotism while strengthening agriculture and rural America by labeling all food products with their country of origin" — delivered by Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. And then there was the Spanish-language response — the first ever — delivered by New Mexico governor, and former Clinton energy secretary, Bill Richardson.

The Pelosi/Daschle speeches, dutifully televised by network- and cable-television-news outlets, followed the standard format of opposition-party responses. They faulted the president on a variety of issues but emphasized the need for all Americans to work together. In line with tradition, they did not make starkly political appeals like, "Please vote for Democrats this November." In fact, neither lawmaker mentioned the election at all.

The Richardson address was another matter. Billed as the first-ever Democratic response for Spanish speakers — party chairman Terry McAuliffe called it a "historic moment" — it was nothing at all like a traditional response and was in fact an openly political appeal for Hispanic votes. (The following description is based on the English translation of Richardson's remarks provided by the Democratic National Committee.)

Richardson's address was mostly about the president's immigration initiative. There was a certain irony in that, since he began his speech by saying, "The majority of American citizens believe that as Hispanics we only care about issues like immigration and civil rights." Even though Richardson said Hispanics in fact care deeply about all the major issues facing Americans, he made only cursory mentions of those issues — for example, he did not discuss Iraq at all, except to say that Hispanics are serving there.

Instead, Richardson focused on immigration. He called the president's plan "a small step forward" that included "some positive points." But he said the plan was a "dead end" for Hispanics because it "does not help immigrant workers to obtain the golden dream: legalization and residency without impunity."

Richardson also used the issue as an opening to attack the Republican party in general, saying "The Republican Party has collectively ruined much for us." Now, he said, Bush's plan "is even being strongly opposed by conservative members of his own party."

Then Richardson addressed the upcoming election. "We are prepared to elect the next President of the United States, and with our growing numbers we can decide the election," he said. "In this election, the Hispanic vote will be critical because of our large numbers in states like Florida, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, California, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York."

Richardson urged Hispanics to register to vote and then said, "The Democratic Party has always been with us, and we should not forget who really are our true friends and allies." And that was the end of Richardson's brief speech.

Such a baldly political appeal would have violated the decorum of the nationally televised addresses delivered by the president and his Democratic rivals. But in the Spanish-language speech, unseen by most Americans and ignored by the media, Richardson was able to turn a response to the State of the Union address into a frankly political commercial.


TOPICS: Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: daschle; pelosi
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1 posted on 01/21/2004 9:39:41 AM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Again I say, I'm all for the President's initiative on Illegals, if it is coupled with closing our southern borders.
2 posted on 01/21/2004 9:46:18 AM PST by stylin_geek (Koffi: 0, G.W. Bush: (I lost count))
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Richardson focused on immigration. He called the president's plan "a small step forward" that included "some positive points." But he said the plan was a "dead end" for Hispanics because it "does not help immigrant workers to obtain the golden dream: legalization and residency without impunity."

Richardson also used the issue as an opening to attack the Republican party in general, saying "The Republican Party has collectively ruined much for us." Now, he said, Bush's plan "is even being strongly opposed by conservative members of his own party."

****

How has ANYONE ruined ANYTHING for him?! Unless, we want to include Monica Lewinsky's PRIVATE meetings with him to keep her mouth shut and find her a job, I would say that he has done pretty well.

3 posted on 01/21/2004 9:47:19 AM PST by kcvl
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection; Sabertooth; Grampa Dave; NormsRevenge; SierraWasp; Howlin
Thanks for posting this!

And see this:

The Demoncratic Rovers

4 posted on 01/21/2004 9:47:59 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
"In this election, the Hispanic vote will be critical because of our large numbers in states like Florida, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, California, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York."

Huh. I wonder why he didn't mention Texas.

5 posted on 01/21/2004 9:54:31 AM PST by Constitutionalist Conservative (http://c-pol.com)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Wonder if the Richardson response will air on Telemundo.
6 posted on 01/21/2004 9:55:15 AM PST by martin_fierro (Uneasy in my easy chair.)
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To: kcvl
... legalization and residency without (sic) impunity...

Now, by G-d, THAT'S an idea I can get behind!

It's the morons who want this with impunity who get under my skin.

Of course, there's little reason in any case to expect any proper use of the language by any Clintonista bootlicker such as Ol' Pudgy.

7 posted on 01/21/2004 10:09:45 AM PST by SAJ
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To: martin_fierro
It was on Univision.
8 posted on 01/21/2004 10:12:31 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim (Come see the violence inherent in the system!)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative
>>Huh. I wonder why he didn't mention Texas.<<

I wondered the same. Could it just be a error in the transcription, or has he just given up on Texas giving its electoral votes to a Democrat?

Muleteam1

9 posted on 01/21/2004 10:14:03 AM PST by Muleteam1
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To: Gallegos
ping
10 posted on 01/21/2004 10:15:05 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim (Come see the violence inherent in the system!)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Why, THIS is discriminatory!!!!!!!!

Much the same as the DMV and voting forms in California are in different languages, we need to start giving these speeches in ALL the languages of the American populous......NOT just Spanish!

What about Mandarin?

What about Mongolian?

What about Bora Boran?

What about Martian?

11 posted on 01/21/2004 10:16:06 AM PST by DoctorMichael (Thats my story, and I'm sticking to it.)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
"The Republican Party has collectively ruined much for us." - Richardson

... "us" being Hispanics, and particularly illegal immigrants as this is what this is all about.

Welcome to the next installment of 'Bosnia Redux'! Democrats are not only fanning the flames of class warfare but race and ethnic warfare. They had better hope their secret wish doesn't come true!

12 posted on 01/21/2004 10:23:33 AM PST by Gritty ("GOP gurus want to empty the Big Tent for those who don't yet want a place in it-Wesley Pruden)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Wasn't Richardson Monica Lewinsky's employment agent in NY while he was serving his Masters at the UN?
13 posted on 01/21/2004 10:32:06 AM PST by leprechaun9
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Richardson is such a mega-goober, I'm suprised he can tie his shoelaces let alone draft a speech.
14 posted on 01/21/2004 10:35:41 AM PST by capt. norm (No sense being pessimistic, it probably wouldn't work anyway.)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
I need a transcript of this in English. Any ideas?
15 posted on 01/21/2004 10:43:51 AM PST by CougarGA7
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To: CougarGA7
Nada :)
16 posted on 01/21/2004 10:44:36 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim (Come see the violence inherent in the system!)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Bill Richardson is going to be John Edwards VP choice. Watch carefully.
17 posted on 01/21/2004 10:46:02 AM PST by reflecting
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To: reflecting
I think you are correct. Edwards/Richardson 04'
18 posted on 01/21/2004 10:49:21 AM PST by kcvl
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative
Huh. I wonder why he didn't mention Texas.

Texas is Bush Country. Since the Rats won't carry Texas, they will ignore the hispanic population here. This does point out the blatant partisanship disguised as bipartisanship. He is appealing to hispanics by claiming that Republicans are racist. There's nothing new, there. What would be news would be an election where the Rats DIDN'T play the race card. However, most Texans are very comfortable with a multicultural environment. However, we're all TEXANS. As a white Texan, I have no problem with Mexicans who want to become Texans. I have a huge problem with the governmental system in Mexico. I have no problem with Mexicans coming to Texas to work. I have a big problem with Mexicans coming to Texas to collect welfare.

What I'm saying is, it's not about race and it's not about culture (at least not Mexican culture). It's about politics, and I'm a h*ll of a lot closer politically to most of the Mexicans I know and work with than I am to Robert Redford, with whom I share a race lineage.

I also must confess that most Texans I know, given a choice, would rather stop the Yankee migration to Texas than the Mexican one.

19 posted on 01/21/2004 10:49:59 AM PST by Richard Kimball
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

20 posted on 01/21/2004 10:50:14 AM PST by South40 (My vote helped defeat cruz bustamante; did yours?)
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